Skinless – Savagery (Review)

SkinlessSkinless are a death metal band from the US and this is their sixth album.

This is the follow up to 2015’s highly enjoyable Only the Ruthless Remain. Okay, so let’s get the obvious out of the way first – Savagery is an album which is appropriately named. As I say, an obvious observation, I know, but fitting given the circumstances. This is blatant, unsubtle music for smashing skulls to. Continue reading

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Avulsed – Altar of Disembowelment (Review)

AvulsedAvulsed are a Death Metal band from Spain. This is their latest EP.

Avulsed are one of the best Death Metal bands in the world. Sorry, but that’s just a fact. Ever since I first got Stabwound Orgasm in 1999, I’ve been hooked, and that album still remains one of the best of the genre.

Their last album Ritual Zombi was full of gruesome goodies, and on this latest EP, we get a short 23 minutes of brutality, comprising 4 originals and a Black Sabbath cover.

The Avulsed seal of quality we’ve come to expect from these veterans is firmly stamped all over these tracks and the music is full of well-written songs that are catchy, memorable and filled with meaty Death Metal morsels.

Their venerated singer still sounds like the father of all Cookie Monsters and his voice, as usual, is cavernous with aggressive growls sounding larger than life and twice as deadly.

If you don’t know Avulsed, (tsk tsk), then just know that they play Classic Death Metal with plenty of catchy riffs, licks and brutal heaviness.

The production is heavy, clear and wrapped in an odour of entrails. The instruments all shine when they need to and everything is balanced and perfectly covered in blood.

Another top-quality release from Avulsed. Let’s hope they reign in bloody chunks for many years to come.

Aposento – Aposento (Review)

AposentoThis is the début album of Spanish Death Metal band Aposento.

Take a look at the album art. If that doesn’t scream DEATH METAL at you at then I don’t know what does. Top work.

Aposento have been around for a very, very long time but this is the first album they’ve actually released. Kind of crossing the sound of bands like Avulsed and Deicide, Aposento offer us in-your-face Death Metal with an understanding of what makes a good song catchy and memorable while simultaneously piling on the brutality.

A strong, solid sound increases the impact the songs have with the riffs and pounding drums working in unison to plough down anything in front of it.

Vocally the singer is deep and follows the Avulsed school of guttural noises.

The songs take elements of Old-School Death Metal and merge them with a more timeless style of Death Metal akin to Cannibal Corpse’s USDM in the sense that it’s not ultra-modern but it’s not completely Old-School either; rather it contains elements of the timeless Classic style. Ultimately this is Death Metal, and no-one would have trouble recognising this for what it is.

Quality Death Metal played by lifers who know their business.

Embalmed – Brutal Delivery of Vengeance (Review)

EmbalmedThis is Brutal Death Metal from this US veteran band, although after all their years this is actually their début album.

Embalmed are a riff-heavy, song-focused band, which immediately means that this album has the potential to be very good indeed. It all depends if the songwriting is up to par of course. Thankfully the band have had plenty of time to refine their songcraft and the results are satisfying to say the least.

This is classic Death Metal. I hesitate to label this Old-School, as although it is, (if only by virtue of not belonging to the New-School), the Old-School label can imply to some people a dredging up of past glories, etc., whereas this is more resolutely timeless and still very relevant. Think Cannibal Corpse USDM.

The songs rampage along with the right amount of belligerence and restraint, content to smash enemies apart but then moving on to the next with brutal efficiency.

Embalmed have a selection of good riffs in every song, and know how to lock into a good groove when the need arises. In addition to the standard blast beats and the more mid-paced sections, they can also be quite dynamic and inventive with the drum beats; they have the same kind of infectious hooks to some of the songs that bands such as Konkhra and Avulsed do so well.

This is a quality USDM album that any Death Metal fan should be able to get on board with.

Morbider/Abyssus – From the Abyss Raised the Morbid (Review)

Morbider AbyssusThis is a split release between Death Metal bands Morbider and Abyssus.

Morbider are up first. They are from the Czech Republic and play Death Metal inspired by the Swedish Old-School, although I can also hear the songwriting skills of a bit of Avulsed in their style as well.

They contribute 4 tracks to this release and they’re all solid slabs of well recorded, well played Death Metal with a nice chainsaw sound and plenty of atmosphere; the mid-part of No More Life is a case in point. Good ideas and good execution; Morbider impress.

Abyssus are from Greece and play a more primitive and darkly primeval version of Death Metal than Morbider, with even a bit of a proto-Thrash influence.

They contribute 5 slightly shorter songs to the split, one of which is a Sodom cover. The songs are simple but effective, with an Old-School feel and the obvious passion to back it up. The riffs are ripping and have a good feeling to them and the band Thrash along at a welcome speed.

A very enjoyable split from two good bands. Check them out.

Avulsed – Ritual Zombi (Review)

AvulsedThis is Avulsed’s sixth album and the veteran Death Metal juggernaut shows no sign of let up in either the aggression or quality departments.

If you haven’t encountered Avulsed before then I heartily recommend you get hold of their entire back catalogue as they have released some great Death Metal over the years.

Their style is brutality spiced up with unexpected moments of melody and a large degree of catchiness. Yes; Death Metal with songs!

Their latest album is no different; here we get ultra-heavy song-based Death Metal with a production that melts faces all delivered by a band who have made Metal their true calling in life. This passion shines through and I think is one of the reasons that Avulsed are so good at what they do.

They’ve never shied away from the odd unexpected moment either; the odd keyboard-enhanced section or Spanish guitar track has been known to make it through the mincer on occasion to throw in a bit of light in all of the gore-drenched chaos. This is the exception of course, as the vast majority is pure unadulterated Death Metal.

This zombie-themed album smashes skulls and scores kill-shots with every song. Vocalist Dave Rotten once again putting in a stellar performance with guttural, bowel-loosening growls honed through decades of use.

There is also a cover of Death’s Zombie Ritual to chew on.

Avulsed continue to be one of the best Death Metal bands around. This album is expertly crafted, proficiently played and staunchly Death Metal; any fan of brutality should have this in their collection.

Gaped – The Murderous Inception (Review)

GapedThis is the début EP of Australian Death Metal band Gaped.

Gaped play powerful-sounding Death Metal with lots of emphasis on the heaviness of the guitars and the quality of the riffs.

Mixed in amongst the brutality are snippets of melody and added flourishes, as well as some effective lead work and solos.

There is a fair degree of versatility in the sound, from Six Feet Under-style groove to Bloodbath-style melody to Avulsed-style blasting. In fact, a mix of Bloodbath and Six Feet Under with a hint of Avulsed – probably a good description for how Gaped come across.

The vocals are deep and menacing, but understandable. They chomp and chew their way through the chunky guitars and compete with them for the highest impact.

They end the EP with a cover of Stripped, Raped and Strangled by Cannibal Corpse. It’s very good.

This album is a lesson in focused, structured and planned Death Metal murder. There’s only 23 minutes of music on this album, 20 if you discount the cover; however this is a great release for the discerning Death Metal fan and one can only wait for an album now. Great stuff.

Megascavenger – At the Plateaus of Leng (Review)

MegascavengerThe latest Megascavenger album, (a project of Rogga Johansson), contains quite the list of guest vocalists – just have a look at the line up, (taken from the promo blurb) –

1. At The Plateaus Of Leng (Vocals by DAVE INGRAM of Bolt Thrower/Benediction)

2. The Festered Earth (Vocals by KAM LEE of Massacre)

3. And Then The Death Sets In (Vocals by AAD KLOOSTERWAARD of Sinister)

4. The Mucus Man (Vocals by MARTIN VAN DRUNEN of Asphyx/Hail of Bullets)

5. Like Comets Burn The Ether (Vocals by DAVE ROTTEN of Avulsed)

6. When Death Kills The Silence (Vocals by FELIX STASS of Crematory)

7. The Hand Of Bereavment (Vocals by ILKKA JARVENPÄÄ of National Napalm Syndicate)

8. Back To The Ancient (Vocals by BRYNJAR HELGETUN of Crypticus)

9. Night Of The Grand Obscenity (Vocals by ROGGA JOHANSSON)

If that’s not enough to get expectations running high I don’t know what is.

This album is full of melodic Old-School Death Metal goodness, but also a few unexpected turns such as the clean vocals/keyboard side of The Festered Earth, or the cleans of The Hand of Bereavement. Variety is a good thing however and these little flourishes and touches just enhance the album as a whole.

At the Plateaus of Leng is crushing and without mercy, stomping and stamping on all who oppose. But more than brutality these songs are surprisingly melodic and succeed well in hooking the listener. The tracks march along easily enough, propelled by the mid-paced barrage of the drums and carried aloft by the tuneful guitars. Each song is well-written, being identifiable from the last and not just because of the different vocals. This is an album of songs rather than just a collection of tracks, and there are catchy moments in great supply.

All of the vocalists do a sterling job and add their own personality and character into each of the compositions. Each song may have a different vocalist but the album flows nicely and doesn’t sound disjointed or like a compilation album, even when they veer into more Heavy Metal territory with clean singing it still holds together well as a package.

A very accomplished release, chock full of classic Death Metal songs, each one as enjoyable as the last.