Hell to Pay – Bliss (Review)

Hell to PayHell to Pay are a US hardcore band and this is their debut album.

Here we have 29 minutes of hardcore mixed with elements of metal, grindcore, death metal, and crust. About a third of the running time is taken up by the last track, leaving most of the other songs as Continue reading “Hell to Pay – Bliss (Review)”

Repulsione – Desecrating (Review)

RepulsioneRepulsione are an Italian grindcore band and this is their third album.

This is some insanely noisy grindcore. The bass seems like it’s wrapped in chainsaws and bursting out of the speakers to gut you. Bloody Hell.

So yes, Repulsione are Continue reading “Repulsione – Desecrating (Review)”

Exhumed – Death Revenge (Review)

ExhumedExhumed are a US death metal band and this is their sixth album.

I’ve had a huge, (wet, mushy, bloody), soft spot for Exhumed from the first time I heard Gore Metal way back when it came out, and ever since I’ve been a fan. I mention this only because Death Revenge is being released almost 20 years after their legendary debut, but demonstrates a band that have probably never sounded better.

Continue reading “Exhumed – Death Revenge (Review)”

Haemorrhage – We Are the Gore (Review)

HaemorrhageThis is the seventh album from legendary Spanish goregrinders Haemorrhage.

This is 35 minutes of unhinged medical mayhem. However, the band also know the virtue of restraint when necessary, as sometimes the applied force of a surgical strike is more effective than a chainsaw to the guts. Continue reading “Haemorrhage – We Are the Gore (Review)”

Killing Addiction – Shores of Oblivion (Review)

Killing AddictionThis is the latest EP from Killing Addiction, a death metal band from the US.

Having enjoyed their short-yet-brutal 2014 EP When Death Becomes an Art, it’s good to hear some new material from these veterans.

This EP is 15 minutes of classic, 90s-styled Continue reading “Killing Addiction – Shores of Oblivion (Review)”

Archetype – Mission (Review)

ArchetypeThis is the debut album from Archetype, a Canadian progressive death metal band.

This is a progressive mixture of death and thrash metal that’s not short on confidence or character. Or, for that matter, a rather insane delivery style.

The songs have a decent mixture of aggressive thrash metal, (with a kind of German, Destruction/Kreator feel), and melodic death metal, (Carcass/Arsis), mixed in with more technical and progressive tendencies that see the band producing Continue reading “Archetype – Mission (Review)”

Denominate – Those Who Beheld the End (Review)

DenominateDenominate are from Finland and play death metal. This is their debut album.

Here we have 43 minutes of progressive/technical death metal. Take some Carcass/Death influences and mix with something like Vital Remains…are you interested yet? You should be…

Denominate have a decent production that lends them a satisfying sound. The music itself is skilfully played with no lack of talent. Continue reading “Denominate – Those Who Beheld the End (Review)”

Spinebreaker – Ice Grave (Review)

SpinebreakerThis is the début album from Spinebreaker, a Death Metal band from the US.

This is ugly Old-School Death Metal born bloody and ragged from the Hardcore scene. This means that the band combine the purity of their Death Metal heritage with the fire and energy of their Hardcore bloodline.

My, what a sound they have! Boasting a Swedish Death Metal guitar tone that their spiritual forefathers would be proud of, this is presented in a filthed-up package that fuses the feel of the era and style with a Hardcore edge and a touch of At the Gates and Carcass in the vocal department.

The end result is a savage demonstration of the fact that A) you don’t need to be Swedish to wield a chainsaw and B) there’s life in Old-School Swedish Death Metal yet; it’s not necessary for a band to simply rehash past glories.

Spinebreaker manage to successfully inject vitality and vibrancy into a rather stale, (but still very enjoyable), sub-genre. The inclusion of a Hardcore edge to some of the riffs adds a blood-pumping energy and the harsh screaming growls are a thing of gory beauty.

Whether ripping out giant grooves or pounding heaviness, Spinebreaker make everything sound dark, nightmarish and nasty, just as it should be. The spectre of At the Gates looms over the faster sections, (prompted for me by the vocals, but bleeding into the guitars too), and it’s a joy to hear this encapsulated by such a dirty Swedish delivery.

A very enjoyable 38 minutes.

Chained to the Dead – Born to Rot (Review)

Chained to the DeadChained to the Dead are a US Death Metal band.

Take a look at the album cover. I dare you to guess what this sounds like. Actually, you might not be completely right. I, for example, expected ultra-brutal Death Metal with completely guttural pignoise vocals. Instead, this is a sharper and more precise form of carnage, more akin to Carcass than Brodequin.

Serrated, lacerated, rasping vocals lash out from the music, which itself sounds quite barbed and nasty. The band’s songs are well-written and much more surgical in their attentions than some of their peers. No-one would accuse them of not being brutal, of course, but it’s a different kind of brutality than a lot of Death Metal bands employ.

There’s also quite a bit of variety here, relatively speaking. Well-written songs and interesting riffs combine to produce memorable songs that are actually identifiable from each other quite quickly. In such a short release the band manage to pack in a lot of content and personality.

I also like their considered approach. The music has a sophistication that is shared by bands such as Carcass and Aborted, although the album cover totally denies this. It’s an interesting contrast, and I wonder where this will take Chained to the Dead in the future. I can image them dropping the primitive imagery and becoming even more state-of-the-art in their approach to slaughter. Only time will tell.

For the moment though, Born to Rot is a a surprisingly professional and well-realised 21 minutes of surgical violence that still loves a bit of gore on the side. Well, a lot of gore really, I suppose. Either way, the songs are good and the band have a bright future ahead of them if they can get the right exposure.

Top marks for this. Much more impressive than I was expecting. Check it out.

SSS – Limp.Gasp.Collapse. (Review)

SSSSSS, (or Short Sharp Shock), are from the UK and play Thrash Metal/Crossover. This is their fourth album.

Featuring Metal that’s heavy, antagonistic and to-the-point, SSS’s latest album is a Thrash/Crossover onslaught that is as good an overview as any of where this particular style is at in 2014.

The songs are instantly catchy and memorable enough to stick around after a few spins. The chuggy guitars and stub-nosed riffs mean that subtlety is not a key part of their sound, but subtlety can be overrated; sometimes you just need to have some violent fun and SSS provide the soundtrack.

SSS manage to capture the intensity of Hardcore, the riffs of Thrash and the pure heaviness of Metal. This combination embodies the Crossover spirit and the songs rumble and chug along nicely, battering everything else aside with their enthusiasm and blunt delivery.

The vocals are gritty and belligerent shouts that perfectly straddle the Thrash/Hardcore divide. Added higher/lower screams/growls add emphasis and a bit of extremity when needed. There’s even a guest spot from the singer of Carcass.

Although I’m not a massive fan of this particular style SSS are clearly better than most.

Check out SSS and see what you think.