Church of Disgust – Unworldly Summoning (Review)

Church of DisgustAfter a perfunctory intro we’re into the album proper. The first thing that strikes the listener is the powerful sound – thick, heavy guitars and drums that drop like a hammer. This band play filth-heavy Death Metal with an atmosphere and tone so covered in grime and dirt as to become one with it.

So adept at channelling all things Necro are they that most underground Black Metal bands would kill for this sound. Imagine a band like Anaal Nathrakh if The Codex Necro was diseased Death Metal instead of Black Metal.

Add to this some nice Incantation-isms; the odd dash of Obituary and Autopsy; a small sprinkling of Usurper; an injection of sludge; cover this all with a rotten layer of offal and leave to decay for 100 years and you have something close to what Church of Disgust resemble.

And the vocalist – what’s all that about? How did the band manage to convince a real demon to front the band? I mean, it’s not a human being right? I can only assume that the Unworldly Summoning was a success and something dark and evil that time forgot came slithering out of the dankest crypt to be held in thrall to Church of Disgust and do their bidding. Their bidding, of course, being to produce the sickest, most evil Death Metal noises heard for some time. I just hope they feed it regularly.

Unworldly Summoning is ugly, hostile and wants everything dead. In other words it is one of the best death metal releases heard in a while.

If you want the latest in clinical, state-of-the-art, precision-laser-produced Death Metal hot off the production line then this is not for you. If, however, you’re not scared of a bit of blood and muck on your Death Metal then there is nothing to not like here. 

Lie In Ruins – Toward Divine Death (Review)

Lie In RuinsAmbitious Death Metal from Finland; Toward Divine Death contains over 70 minutes of music and is not for the uninitiated.

Grasping the fundamentals of hyper-speed blasting and also rhythmic pounding, the songs proceed to brutalise the senses using all of the various tools in the Death Metal arsenal.

The songs are long but fully engaging. This is not an “instant-hit” band, and all the better for it. The songs take their time in their battery, ensuring that you enjoy them purely on their terms.

The vocals are low-down in the mix and sound completely inhuman. They are used as another instrument and complement the music rather than being the focal point.

Lie In Ruins play their Death Metal fast, dark and sinister, and when they do slow down they sound absolutely colossal. Their uncompromising vision is realised across these 9 tracks of aggressive Metal and culminates in the final, 11-minute epic Of Darkness and Blackened Fire.

A lengthy but rewarding album, this is well worth the investment if you take the time to let it absorb you.

Corpsessed – Abysmal Thresholds (Review)

CorpsessedAfter a disconcerting intro, Finnish Death Metal band Corpsessed proceed to terrify the listener with their thick and impenetrable evil sound.

Of Desolation starts things off and just oozes menace and class. Sounding like it has been transported to this plane of existence from some horrible Hell-dimension, the band proceed to channel 48 minutes of thoroughly upsetting music that uses sound as a warning of what’s lurking in the darkness.

The band evoke strong feelings of dread and fear with their songs through skilful use of dark melodies and subtle additions of Black Metal touches to their sound. Indeed, although Abysmal Thresholds is thoroughly grounded in Death Metal there are detectable influences from the Black Metal camp that serve to enhance the innate sense of wrongness and ungodliness that these songs inspire.

Corpsessed have mastered the art of atmosphere there’s no doubting that; these tracks bleed malevolence.  The guitars create a foundation of unease from which the songs are moulded while the guttural vocals underscore everything and spread their darkened word.

This is more than a mere album; this is like a message from some damned, horrible place. Each song is a new word and by the end of it you’ve lost your mind. I can’t get enough of this! This is Death Metal at its best – dark, scary, heavy, brilliant.

This album sounds like the aural equivalent of Death itself.

Interview with Gutslit

Gutslit are a brutal, slamming Death Metal from India who have recently released their début album Skewered in the Sewer. This is a top-quality release that I really enjoyed and even made it into the recent Wonderbox Metal Best of 2013 list, so I’m pleased to have had the chance to ask them a few questions.

Hi! How would you introduce your band for people that have never heard of you before?

Gutslit Bassist

Gutslit (Gurdip Narang): Let’s just say, imagine somebody feeding off your pain, torturing you, bleeding you to a level where you go numb and can only see the blood pouring out of your body while the chisel and saw used to amputate your limbs lie coated in blood and tissues. A faint smile on the face of the person who has done it to you. Pleasure and feeling of contentment showing on his horrific, calm yet evil face, already planning his next kill. That feeling there is what Gutslit is all about. The unstoppable force of butchery, torture and pain that will hit you with every riff, the punch in your groin with every drum beat, the haste and momentary pauses between the blows like the bass and the screams and grunts of the pain felt in every vocal note.

When we started out, there was not even a single band from our city that played Grind. Slam wasn’t known to many. Pig squeals were thought of as some processed noise worked out in a studio. Only a few people knew what it was to play with programmed drums on stage. Bands were asked to cover the famous thrash and a few death metal bands. We just picked up our favourite band, Dying Fetus and covered their track “Kill Your Mother Rape Your Dog”. Then there were songs from our EP with the French band, Pulmonary Fibrosis. Having a split with a foreign band was also the first for any Indian extreme metal band. We played an International show with Putrid Pile. That too was the first for any Indian extreme metal band. From then, to now with ‘Skewered in the Sewer’, we’ve just worked harder and harder.

What are your main influences?

Dying Fetus, Disgorge (USA), Brodequin, Inveracity, Coldworker, Defeated Sanity, Devourment, Vulvectomy, Beheaded, Immolation, Vader, Putrid Pile, Cephalotripsy, Condemned, Krisiun, Mumakil, Mindly Rotten and a lot more.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

The new albums by the veterans have blown us away this year. Defeated Sanity, Dying Fetus, Gorguts, Carcass. They all have justified why they deserve the respect through these years. Mindly Rotten, Infernal Revulsion are few bands that one must have in their list for future greats.

This is a great début album – how did you come up with the songs?

Gutslit Singer

All our songs were written by our former guitarist Dynell, drums and bass were worked out later by Aaron and Gurdip respectively and the songs were finalized with the addition of vocals by Aditya. All lyrics were written by Gurdip. Except for one song, “Circumcised with a Chainsaw”. Lyrics and Vocals on that track are done by Mallika Sundaramurthy from Abnormality and Parasitic Extirpation USA.

The songs you have written are not only brutal but really catchy. In my review I compared you to Gorerotted in some ways. Are you familiar with them and do you think it’s a fair comparison?

Yes we are aware of Gorerotted and have heard almost everything that they have released. We were really happy to be compared to them and were quite ecstatic about the same. We even mentioned the same on our social media pages.

Being from India do you feel this has influenced your sound at all?

There was never a relevant band to connect to in India. There were many in other sub genres of extreme metal. There are many that are coming out with good promising material and we are really glad to see professionalism in music.

What is the Indian Metal scene like? Do you feel much connection to it?

Indian Metal scene is as vague as the people. Almost every genre which is known and played abroad finds its place here. Many have even tried and merged Indian classical music with the metal and the results have been quite good.

Gutslit Drummer

What are your plans for the future?

We are working on a 4 way International Split with all the other bands being from Europe and the UK. This should be released before summer of 2014 and before we hit Europe for a few shows and the mighty Obscene Extreme Festival in Czech Republic.

And finally…Do you prefer Chris Barnes or George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher?

As our vocalist Aditya Barve says,”I prefer Chris Barnes for the lyrical madness that he does, but Corpsegrinder is definitely a more powerful vocalist, live and on record!”

Thanks for your time!

Thank you very much brother for this interview!

Lay Down Rotten – Deathspell Catharsis (Review)

Lay Down RottenWhen you have an album cover this awesome the actual music doesn’t matter right? I jest of course but the fact remains that the album cover made me really look forward to listening to this.

So once we get past the album cover what have we got here then? This is the seventh album from Germany’s Lay Down Rotten and they present us with a very solid and competent slab of Death Metal that probably has more to offer than you might think.

Most of the songs are longer than typical Death Metal offerings giving the band the space to pursue all of their ideas to their natural conclusions and therefore delivering an album that is interesting and has some depth to it. There is brutality and hatred in abundance in these songs but there is also more than that. The songs are long and relatively involved, but thanks to the deft songwriting they retain attention and do not get boring.

After so many releases these butchers have refined their chosen method of slaughter and Deathspell Catharsis is surgical in its precision. There are no wasted movements or unnecessary padding, providing state-of-the-art modern Death Metal with a nice melodic bent. The recording is suitably huge as would be expected and shows the band in the best light.

Songs and ability; hatred and precision; harshness and style; Deathspell Catharsis should be experienced loud.

Interview with Bones

Bones play a simple but very effective brand of no-nonsense Death Metal/Crust which can be heard on their recently released album Sons of Sleaze. I’ve enjoyed listening to this album and have loved their previous work in Usurper, so when the opportunity arose to ask them a few questions I dived in.

For people who are new to the band – introduce Bones!

Bones Band

Sure. Bones is a filthy metal band from Chicago. Our lineup is: Joe Warlord-Drums, Carcass Chris-Guitars/Vox and Jon Necromancer-Bass/Vox. We’re a newer band that formed in ‘09, but we’ve been around forever. All 3 of us have been in Usurper together back in the ‘90s-’00s. We play raw, unpolished metal. We’re not interested in sounding “perfect” or “clean”. We feel that Metal has lost its balls over the years. Now bands spend way too much money to make a studio perfect album that sounds stale, wimpy and terribly boring. Bones is the exact opposite of all that shit.

What are your main influences?

As a band we’re influenced by all the great metal and hard rock that mostly came out from the 70s-90s. I think it’s our individual influences that make Bones sound the way that we do. Joe is way into great drummers like Keith Moon, Dave Lombardo, Neil Peart, etc, while Chris is influenced by guitar greats like Eddie Van Halen, Uli Jon Roth, Kirk Hammett, and he’s a huge Carlos Cavazo fan. I’m way into Dee Dee Ramone, Cliff Burton, Martin Ain, and John Entwistle. Its the weird tension from combining all these influences that make us tick.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Ptahil’s “Almighty Propagator of Doom and Despair” has been stuck in my stereo for awhile. Super weird metal from Indiana/Michigan. The shit is brilliant and needs be heard to be believed. They’re even better live. Also, Autopsy’s “Headless Ritual” is fucking killer. Love it when a veteran band like Autopsy can make it seem so effortless to continue making such mindfucking, influential metal. Both these bands make pure music not influenced by image or marketing.

Your songs have a savage feeling that’s mixed with a sheer enjoyment of all things Metal. How did you create the songs?

We work together on everything. Usually one person comes up with a couple riffs that go together or have a rough idea of a concept. We rehearse often, so we bring our ideas up while they’re fresh and then we start working the problem; coming up with the nuts and bolts of arrangement, whatever. We usually have 3 very different ideas and we argue them out over a couple of weeks until we got it nailed down. Same with lyrics. It’s easier when 1 person does everything and writes everything, but we think this way the end result sounds better. It takes longer but its worth it.

Your album has a very raw and nasty sound – how much of this was deliberate and how much was chance?

Well, its what we sound like. When the band formed we all wanted a break from the formula of signing with a “big” underground label and spending too much time or money in the studio. The last albums we did in Usurper were like that. We were signed to Earache who were giving us $10,000 budgets to go in the studio for weeks and create something that didn’t really represent us. By the time a band is done multitracking and quantizing and autotuning everything you’re not left with anything real. With Bones we decided right away that we never wanted to be in that situation again. We recorded the drums, guitars and bass live. We only took a couple of takes for each song. Both of our albums were done like this. We didn’t do any multitracking or doubling of parts. What you hear is what we sound like at a show or at a rehearsal.

The feeling of the album is very much one of “I don’t care, I’m playing my songs my way”, (as it should be). How do you feel you fit into the wider Metal scene?

We don’t care how we “fit” in the scene. We never did before, and at this advanced age we could really give two shits. “Scene” people are usually “lame” people.

On Sons of Sleaze you covered Fear of Napalm by Terrorizer – how did you decide to cover this particular band/song?

Bones Logo

We usually mess around at practice with cover songs. Its hilarious sometimes, but there are always a couple of songs that everyone intuitively knows how to play like “Black Magic” by Slayer or something. We were messing around with different songs as a joke, but we kept coming back to “Fear of Napalm”. We played it with a nice groove and we thought our version sounded enough like Bones, but still stayed true to the original. We thought we’d record it when we were in the studio for “Sons of Sleaze” and see if it would make the cut with the rest of the songs. We liked the way it came out so we included it on the album.

What are your plans for the future?

As soon as I send this out I’m walking to the liquor store and then picking up a pizza…..


Amon – Liar in Wait (Review)

AmonAs many of you will know; Amon started out life in 1987 and eventually morphed into Deicide. Now, a mere 25+ years later, we have their début album!

If you are familiar with Deicide then you know the general style here, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Among Us is the first track and sets the scene perfectly; muscular, rhythmic Death Metal with a strong sound and some excellent riffs and leads. I wasn’t sure how good this release would be, but this song instantly set my mind to rest. The remaining tracks follow this trend.

It’s clear that the passion and intensity that Eric and Brian Hoffman have for Death Metal is alive and well. This is not diluted or pasteurised in anyway – this is the real deal. What we get is riff/song-focused Metal that is effortless in its delivery and flawless in execution.

Being a very guitar-oriented album there are solos aplenty. Anyone who has been following my reviews for a while now may have noticed that I’m partial to the odd solo, so you can imagine how much I enjoy this.

The recording and general sound of this album is first-rate, as you would expect. The guitar tone is enough to bring me out in fits of excitement alone as it’s just so damn sexy, and the blazing solos on top of it is like listening to liquid gold.

It’s not all about the guitars of course, vital as they are. The drums are blasted out with passion and technique, and the vocalist is, quite frankly, excellent.

With Deicide being such a high-profile band I can imagine Amon causing a split in opinion between those that love the consistency of a familiar sound done extremely well, and between those who were hoping for something different and are disappointed. I am firmly of the former camp and I just can’t stop listening to this.

Aborted Fetus – Private Judgement Day (Review)

Aborted FetusAborted Fetus – Russian Brutal Death Metal that’s guaranteed to give you a shock in the arm early in the morning. Who said Caffeine is better than Death Metal?

This is ultra-brutal, almost-Deathgrind music that takes no prisoners and probably doesn’t even know what the word mercy means. As a point of reference think early Severe Torture, and then think how much of a compliment that is.

The songs are largely short and sharp with plenty of blast to remove the cobwebs and get the, (bloody), juices flowing.

Vocals are unintelligible and coarse – almost pure pignoise, but just the right side of this so rather than sounding stupid they actually sound pretty damn great!

I have a soft spot for this kind of ultra-brutality. Yes it’s never going to win any awards for originality but being unique is overrated sometimes; sometimes you just want to blast and grind it out, and when you’re in this kind of mood Aborted Fetus hit the exact right spot.

You can hear a track streamed from Comatose Music here.

Down from the Wound – Violence and the Macabre (Review)

down from the woundDown from the Wound hail from the Philippines and play a rippingly brutal brand of Death Metal.

This is music to snap necks to. Wasting no time they’re straight into it with squealing barbarity in the first track Ill Fated Annihilation. The entire album is a viscous assault on the body. The sense of being crushed under a great weight pervades these songs, so dense is the guitar sometimes.

They play both fast and slow very well, but for me it’s the massive chug-squeals that they throw into the mix occasionally that really get me bouncing around in my seat, (and gathering some funny looks in the process).

The vocals are of the deep cookie-monster-style that do the job well and are vomited forth with precision and intent.

This music is full of effortless, almost casual brutality. The songs are long, on average, with most approaching or over the five minute mark, allowing the band to squeeze the maximum and optimal combination of blast and slower chug-squeals. The middle section of the title track has a particularly oppressive slow part that one imagines hordes of gorillas just leaping around and smashing things to. Which of course would be the appropriate reaction if they were ever played this album.

I have really enjoyed this. The combination of speed and groove perfected by the band and then shot through with heaviness and more squeal-y bits than you can wave a severed arm at; this is an album to return to.

Want to get your ears wrapped around some tasty, slamming Death Metal played well and executed like only true fans of the genre can? Look no further.

Favourite Track: Contesting the Sacred. Like a roller-coaster of pain.