Odem – The Valley of Cut Tongues (Review)

OdemBrutal Death Metal with a malevolent, blackened underlay. Somehow underneath the brutality and blasting the band have managed to inject a level of constant tension and uneasiness into their sound. It’s quite unusual, the closest comparison I suppose is certain Immolation songs, or maybe Arkhon Infaustus, but this doesn’t quite do it justice.

This is undeniably brutal, but it is also very, very evil-sounding. It’s as if someone has distilled the essence of Black Metal, created a foul-smelling tincture and upon consuming immediately vomited forth Odem’s style of Death Metal.

How to describe the vocals? Imagine a condemned, wretched and broken slave dragging a tombstone to his own grave. That is what they sound like.

Exceptional and savage.

Mortal Decay – The Blueprint for Blood Spatter (Review)

Mortal DecayMortal Decay are veterans of the USDM scene having been birthed in 1991. This is their 4th album and their first in 8 years. And it’s good. Very good.

Blasting USDM in the classic mould with plenty of brutality, blastbeats and harmonics to satisfy even the most jaded Metal fan. Quite simply this album dares you not to bang that head and just destroys anyone foolish enough to get in the way of this juggernaut.  This is Death Metal for Death Metal fans, pure and unadulterated.

They deal in precise, choppy songs filled with blasting and gore-soaked vocals professionally delivered and wrapped in skin. The stench of the last victim still present as they rip, tear and shred their way through the next one.

If you’re a fan of Death Metal then you can’t go wrong with this.

Mental Killing Spree – Centrifuge of Man (Review)

mksIncredibly muscular Death Metal from Germany from a band with big ambition and a refusal to be run-of-the-mill.

The sound is rock solid; both the drums and guitar sound like slabs of concrete and the vocalist sounds like he’s gargling granite. The riffs are thick and sinuous; twisting, turning, chugging and shredding their way straight to your ears.

The band play forward-thinking, modern Death Metal but performed in a traditional way; so none of the hardcore/djent additions that some bands have – just pure Death Metal played honestly and brutally. But there’s more.

The band also has a refreshing ear for dynamics and structure. Although undeniably brutal there is more than just that going on here. Songs like Equal Zero Coincidence, for example, displaying some very well composed parts with good ideas shining through – tension-raising sections and similar emotive passages all raising the standard above the average.

Taking a standard Death Metal template and improving it with good songs and good ideas, band like Mental Killing Spree need to be supported. Do yourself a favour and check them out today.

Disfigured Dead – Relentless (Review)

Disfigured DeadThis is the second full-length album from US Death Metal group Disfigured Dead. Boldly named Relentless – does it live up to its name? Pretty much, yes.

Blasting out of the speakers comes the Relentless, (ahem), statement of intent – no intro, no messing around; just straight up brutality and heaviness. As well as plenty of blastbeats we are treated to some punishing slower and more mid-paced segments that make the most of the good guitar sound that they have.

They also have some riffs. Everyone likes a good riff. They know how to write some very mosh-friendly sections and I can imagine them going down extremely well in the local pit.

The vocals are very accomplished – just the right side of cookie-monster vocals for the most part, with some nice vocalisations and patterns used. On the whole the vocals are satisfying and a definite asset to the band.

At its heart this is US-style brutal Death Metal, but they do introduce elements of complexity into the equation that help hold interest and keep you along for the, (brutal), ride.

If you haven’t already met your kill-quota for this month then invite Disfigured Dead to the party and watch those corpses rack up.

Ferocity – The Sovereign (Review)

FerocityHailing from Denmark, Ferocity play Death Metal with style and skill. This is contemporary Death Metal that combines intricacy, brutality, melody and controlled aggression to get its message across.

There are blastbeats aplenty, but also mid-paced and slower sections showing off The Chug and other assorted riffs that make this album instantly familiar but also most welcome. Relatively diverse, (within the Death Metal genre of course), Ferocity display influences from various different sub-genres of Death Metal without ever being confined to just one of them. Here and there you’ll find elements of modern, US, brutal, technical, mid-paced and hyperblast Death Metal all sharing the same album, and even the same song. In my book this can only be a good thing, especially as in the case of Ferocity it works and doesn’t sound just mashed together.

There are some very nice riffs on this release and some good moments in the songs – a welcome grasp of dynamics by the band of when to go melodic, when to go full throttle, when to ease off, when a solo is required, etc. all within a solid Death Metal framework.

Ferocity live up to their name but are not limited to it – there is more than just blind brutality here and that makes The Sovereign a better album. Recommended.

Scalpel – Sorrow and Skin (Review)

ScalpelThis is an album that pulls no punches; ultra-brutal underground Death Metal from the US.

Reminiscent of other US bands like Origin; this is nonetheless a solid release that gives the listener a suitable brutality-fix when needed. They know how to slow things down on occasion also. “Skullscraper” is a good example of this – the slower, brooding part at the start of the song works really well.

Although everyone in the band knows their instruments the drummer in particular seems to be in overdrive mode for most of the time. Pummelling blast beats and furious double-bass are all executed with power and precision.

Favourite Track: Sorrow and Skin.

Check this band out – if you like your metal brutal then this should be for you.



Insain – Spiritual Rebirth (Review)

InsainInsain are a brutal Death Metal band from France.  The album starts with a nice, slow, ease-in before entering full-on brutality mode proceeding to pummel the listener into submission, in a thoroughly enjoyable way that only this style of music can do.

This album has a very nice sound – the best way I can describe it is satisfying. As the songs play and the brutality unveils, it feels like a very satisfying listen. This is the kind of album that reminds you why you first got into Death Metal in the first place, and makes you hungry for more.

This is an album that grabs you immediately but it’s also clear that it will stand the test of time and still remain an enjoyable listen down the line. Riffs, beats and (brutal) melodies are in abundance with both simplicity and technicality being displayed.

Special note should go to the vocalist, who I feel has done a particularly good job and whose vocals are very satisfying (there’s that word again) indeed.

Apparently there’s a new album in the works for the near future – after hearing Spiritual Rebirth I can safely say that this is something every Death Metal fan should be looking forward to.

Nephren-Ka – The Fall of Omnius (Review)

Nephren-KaThere seems to be an upswell of talent in the extreme metal world in France of late. Nephren-Ka are one such band.

Easily boasting enough talent, ideas and skill to propel them to the upper echelons of the Death Metal world; given the chance this band could, (and should), go far.

Although this is, in essence, brutal Death Metal; there is so much more going on here. Elements of most styles of extreme metal are included in the mix at some point or another, (all within a Death Metal framework), with plenty of small touches, flourishes and individuality to make this release stand out head and shoulders above the pack.

The band know how to blast, but crucially also when not to. “Mastering the Voice” for example contains some lovely slow, crawling bits that rival the best similar parts that Cryptopsy have ever done. Some nice solos are scattered around, as well as enough atmosphere to give the album enough variety and interest but never allows it to go off-track and become something it shouldn’t.

The songwriting is top-notch, with plenty of dynamics and riffs to hold the attention and differentiate the individual songs from each other. The vocals also show a pleasing amount of variety, spanning the spectrum from deep to high, as necessary for the requirements of the song.

This is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best Death Metal albums I have listened to in a while, and I unreservedly recommend it for any and all fans of extreme metal. Top stuff.

Ad Patres – Scorn Aesthetics (Review)

Ad PatresI am a fan of all types of extreme metal, although I definitely go through phases where I favour one particular genre or other for a while. Sometimes it may be Black Metal; sometimes Grindcore; recently I went through a massive Doom-favouring phase. At the moment it’s Death Metal; specifically Brutal Death Metal. Which brings me to Ad Patres; a French band who fill this need of mine perfectly.

The songs are well constructed, well played and the album has a good clear sound. Ad Patres not only have great energy in their songs, but they also display an above-average grasp of dynamics and songwriting skills which makes for an album that is very enjoyable but that also has longevity and won’t simply be forgotten in a couple of weeks. And let us not forget the riffs! Plenty in abundance.

Some Death Metal can be very one dimensional, but this isn’t just pure blasting brutality; there are also slower sections as well as some nice solo’s and melodic sections. A perfect example of this is a song like To the Fathers which is as brutal as anything for the most part, but has a section near the latter end of the song where the brutality eases off and we get a slower, more melodic and emotive section that is very well done indeed.

A top quality album – I highly recommend this to anyone who likes their Death Metal.

Suffocation – Suffocation (Review)

SuffocationSuffocation have been around for some time now and are relatively well known, so this band needs no real introduction I feel. Suffice to say that technical and brutal Death Metal is the order of the day here; and Suffocation do what they do very well in deed.

This album is well-written and composed, and has a very good production with all of the instruments clear and well-recorded. The vocals are nice and deep, as you’d expected from a band of this style, but still remain legible in cases as they are not of the bowel-loosening-low variety.

Probably their slowest release, (but still with more than enough speed and blast); this is an album of riffs. Riffs galore, riffs aplenty, riff-driven. The riffs alone are enough to justify getting this album, let alone everything else.

A strong album; this should be a comfortable fit as part of any Death Metal fan’s collection.