Manipulation – Ecstasy (Review)

ManipulationManipulation are a Polish Death Metal band and this is their third album.

Manipulation play muscular Modern Death Metal with plenty of attack and some interesting twists to the standard formula.

Blast beats and chugging mid-paced carnage are the order of the day, but the band also throw in some unexpected atmospheric moments throughout, via the inclusion of melodic guitars, subtle keyboards, choral-like cleans, etc.

Add to this experimentalism some ultra-modern riffs and Deathcore influences and you have 44 minutes of engaging Extreme Metal, the likes of which Poland always seems to do so well.

The songs are well-written and, as mentioned previously, Manipulation aren’t afraid to experiment or try new things, which is great to hear. This edge of Progressive Metal is buried within their core sound, but really does add to their delivery. When these elements mix with blasting extremity or heavy grooves it all comes together very nicely indeed.

The vocalist has a passionate and dynamic growl that fits the music well, giving them the Death Metal anchoring they need as well as enough variety to move beyond this and into more emphatic territories.

Energetic brutality with a playful spin on the genre; this is really, really impressive.

Highly recommended.

For fans of Thy Art Is Murder, Aborted, All Shall Perish, Cryptopsy, Gorod, Molotov Solution, Whitechapel, etc.

Carnivorous Voracity – The Impious Doctrine (Review)

Carnivorous VoracityThis is the début album from Spanish Brutal Death Metal band Carnivorous Voracity.

Making a strong opening statement of intent with their album cover, Carnivorous Voracity proceed to deliver almost exactly what you might expect over these 36 minutes.

It’s very hard for me to dislike Death Metal like this. It’s savage and nasty, but with enough songwriting savvy to make sure that the music doesn’t become too one-dimensional. This is an important point, as a lot of bands of this ilk are essentially one-trick ponies, no matter how enjoyable.

With The impious Doctrine the band have ensured that there are enough elements of a few different types of ugly brutality included to keep things fresh and interesting. Brutal Death Metal forms the core of the release, but there’s sprinklings of Classic, Modern, Slam and Technical Death Metal thrown into the blender. It all makes for a very satisfying album.

The songs hit the mark, they really do. Although not a band who are primarily about hooks and catchiness, there’s a surprising amount of good hooks on here regardless, and overall this is a very strong album.

The recording is solid and everything sounds slick and professional. The blasting drums and face-smashing riffs are in-your-face, tight and focused.

The vocalist veers between lethal growls and ugly pigsqueals; being very proficient in both he never puts a foot wrong in his delivery.

Yes, this is a very, very nice release. TIME FOR FULL VOLUME CARNAGE!

For fans of Cannibal Corpse, Cryptopsy, Origin, Defeated Sanity, Coprocephalic, Analepsy, etc.

Cryptopsy – The Tome of Suffering – Tome I (Review)

CryptopsyCryptopsy are a Death Metal band from Canada and this is their latest EP.

The Death Metal veterans return with 17 minutes of brutality, and ohh what brutality it is!

Cryptopsy’s impressively nuanced take on Brutal/Technical Death Metal has inspired legions of copycats and imitators, but there’s nothing like returning to the source to find that they still have what it takes to blow most of their now-peers out of the water.

Their Death Metal blueprint may have helped to lay the foundation for Modern Death Metal, so it’s no surprise to hear elements of this and even a splash of Deathcore on occasion, all liberally sprinkled throughout the hostile chaos.

These songs have a sparkling, deviant energy to them. Whether it be powerful blasting or choppy, grooving riff-monstering, (it’s a thing…), the band devastate with ease.

The sound is crisp, nasty and clear. I’ve always loved how Cryptopsy have used the bass in their songs and on this EP it makes its presence felt in no uncertain terms.

Their singer has an incredibly impressive voice. Their original singer had some pretty massive boots to fill, and their current vocalist is definitely heir to this particular throne. His voice is a raw, guttural, shrieking, screaming, growling delight. Much variety and range, much aggression and burning venom, much greatness.

This EP is an essential listen as far as I’m concerned.

Unbreakable Hatred – Ruins (Review)

Unbreakable HatredUnbreakable Hatred are a Death Metal band from Canada and this is their second album.

This is Technical Death Metal that’s as ferocious and brutal as the best of the genre while still having the technical flourishes that mean so much to fans of Tech Death’s dizzying heights. Even more impressive though is how Unbreakable Hatred have managed to retain a semblance of songs on these tracks so that they don’t disappear too far into their own world.

The band have a very clean and polished sound that allows the listener to hear everything that they do. As such, it’s easy to hear how proficient they are at their craft and it’s very easy to enjoy the carnage that they unleash.

The vocalist has a savage voice that’s crisp and neat, if such terms can be applied to aggressively barked growls. I find he manages to compress a lot of personality and feeling into these clipped outbursts and the band have a definite asset in his delivery.

While the songs are no doubt on the technical side of things, I also like the inclusion of simpler riffs and sections that help the songs to retain a catchier, more enjoyable edge.

Pounding drums, heavy riffs, frenzied vocals, lightning leads and solos…Unbreakable Hatred don’t mess around and they spend these short 30 minutes showing a finely balanced blend of professionalism and base aggression.

Listening to this it brings to mind Cryptopsy’s None So Vile; Ruins evokes similar feelings to that album and shares similarities to it in some ways. It’s not quite up to those lofty standards, of course, as None So Vile is pretty much The Ultimate Death Metal Album™, but it’s damn good company to keep at any rate.

This is definitely one of the elite. I think we can safely move Unbreakable Hatred to the top of the recent Technical Death Metal pile. All hail our new overlords!

Nervous Impulse – Time to Panic (Review)

Nervous ImpulseNervous Impulse are from Canada and this is their second album. They play Deathgrind.

This is a band who worship extremity and brutality above all else. Surely their motto must be “everything sicker than everything else”?

Their take on Grindcore is an interesting one because of this, as they don’t limit themselves just to their parent genre. Instead, they branch out into related areas and claim the most brutal elements as their own; Death Metal and Deathcore, being the main ones.

The songs are frequently complicated affairs that marry the short, chaotic brutality of Grind with the still-brutal, more song-structured nature of Death Metal. The end result is somewhat of a cross between Cryptopsy, Brutal Truth, Cattle Decapitation and Circle of Dead Children.

Speaking of Cryptopsy, the production on Time to Panic is not a million miles away from that of my favourite Cryptopsy album None So Vile, so you know that the sound is tight and precise.

Oh, and there’s an Agoraphobic Nosebleed cover. How ace is that?

Nervous Impulse write their songs to be heavy and extreme but still make sure they are written well rather than just a selection of strung-together riffs. It’s really quite tasty.

Vocally, we get pignoise, deathgrunts, screams; anything and everything to make the harshest noises imaginable.

If you like Extreme Metal with enough chaos and brutality to stun and enough songwriting skill to hold interest then check this out. I just can’t stop listening to the fucking thing.

Nader Sadek – The Malefic: Chapter III (Review)

Nader SadekThis is the latest EP from “supergroup” band Nader Sadek.

The project features contributions ex- and current members of such notable bands as Cryptopsy, Aura Noir, Decapitated and Cattle Decapitation.

This is dark Death Metal with an aura of evil and a Classic Death Metal feel to it without it ever becoming overly Old-School in nature.

The general vibe is one of a cross between Morbid Angel and Deicide, although there is more going on here than just this, notably so on closing track Descent which features more of a Doom/atmospheric influence.

There are four songs on this EP, clocking in at just under 21 minutes in total, and each one of them has clearly had a lot of work put into it.

It’s very well recorded and the drums in particular sound thunderous. Everything is tight and well-played, as one would expect from musicians of this calibre.

The songs are enjoyable flights of Death Metal fancy and do a great job of delivering the goods.

Quality work.

Human Devastation – Condenacion (Review)

Human DevastationThis is the début album from Mexican Death Metallers Human Devastation.

This is Brutal Death Metal, and thankfully there is no waste-of-space intro; the first song Bienvenido a mi Mente opens up straight into the action.

The band deal in savagery, aggression and misanthropy. The songs pummel and beat and the vocals sound inhuman.

My, my there are some nice riffs on this. The band may be all about the brutality but they still know how to pen a good tune. They can play too, as shown by the blistering solos that appear now and again like spikes through flesh. The drummer seems a bit of a monster too.

This has a bit of a mid-period Cryptopsy feel to it in places, as well as reminding of Iniquity now and again. For this style of music Human Devastation are relatively varied as they don’t remind of any one band overwhelmingly; rather they incorporate a smattering of influences into their brutal whole. Even the singer demonstrates a good range.

This definitely has its own personality and its good to see a new band forging ahead on their own rather than just following others and paying homage.

Condenacion is a very strong first release and if there’s any justice in the world should see the band become a key player in the Death Metal underground.

Deformatory – In The Wake of Pestilence (Review)

DeformatoryIn The Wake of Pestilence is the début album from Canada’s Deformatory.

Deformatory play Technical Death Metal and they play it well.

The songs are heavy and blur by in a dazzle of intricate technicality and blasting drums. They don’t forgo a decent bit of melody when necessary either though, although other times the emphasis is firmly on pure fretboard brutality.

These Canadians have taken the blueprint drawn up by bands like Cryptopsy and Yattering and from these plans created their own castle of Death Metal impenetrability.

The musicianship is first rate and the playing may be technical but it doesn’t smother the soul of the band; the songs have intricate but involving structures. The band know when to simplify things as well, as sometimes you just need to feel the guitars!

The vocalist is a guttural joy to listen to; deeply satisfying and deeply bowel-loosening. He has a very impressive voice.

This is an excellent example of Technical Death Metal done right. Listen to Deformatory.

Lichmistress – Singularity (Review)

LichmistressThis is the recently released first demo from Polish band Lichmistress, and it has made an impression!

At two songs and 10 minutes in length this sets the scene for the future as Lichmistress introduce us to their particular brand of brutality and depth.

As The Bowels of Darkness open, (see what I did there?), we get a deluge of filth and blasting, at least initially anyway. Brutality and pignoise vocals lead into an extremely satisfying breakdown-style section with some nice guitar squealing going on. I like the bass, and calmer segments also.

It quickly becomes apparent that the band have more talent than simply for bludgeoning the listener; they also show an appreciation for feeling and texture amongst the bone-pounding riffing and carnage. It may only be the first song but already we’ve had plenty of variety, some calm-amidst-the-chaos, melodic segments and a relaxed solo. Nice stuff.

Second song Serrated Blade Procreation fades up into a sexy, bass-heavy grinding riff before getting all kinds of grooves on in ways that would make Decapitated proud. Decapitated being raped by Cryptopsy with Cephalic Carnage standing on the sidelines just watching. Yes.

The quality of the guitars on this should not be underrated. Sliding and technical yet simple and catchy – a great combination.

The production is serviceable but could be better, but as this is a demo that’s to be expected and does not hinder the enjoyment of what are two exceptional tracks.

I can’t help but be extremely impressed with these songs. If they can keep this level of quality for a full album and combine that with a professional sound then their first full-length should be amazing.

Death Metal is alive and hungry.