Cut Up – Wherever They May Rot (Review)

Cut UpCut Up are a death metal band from Sweden and this is their second album.

This is the kind of death metal album that just steamrolls all over you as soon as you press play. It’s a relentlessly savage monster throughout the playing time, showing no let up in its bloody commitment to knock you over and flatten you to a mushy corpse. Continue reading “Cut Up – Wherever They May Rot (Review)”

Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic (Review)

BTBAMBetween the Buried and Me are a progressive Extreme Metal band from the US. This is their eighth album.

If you haven’t encountered Between the Buried and Me before then you’re in for a treat. They’re one of the best examples of a band individualising what they do, and what they do is progressive Extreme Technical Metal. It’s a bit of a mouthful but it’s hard to describe this band in simple terms. Over the course of their career they’ve pretty much done it all, and over time they’re only getting more ambitious with their releases.

As with anything like this though, it’s not for everyone. If you favour music that has traditional song structures and predictable layouts, then move quietly along. If, however, you like the idea of listening to a band that can effortlessly combine the type of stuff you’d hear from bands like Queen, Deicide, Dream Theatre and The Dillinger Escape Plan, while simultaneously remaining entirely their own entity, then make sure you check this out.

This latest album is as ambitious and grandiose as always, more so in many respects. Piano and keyboards probably feature even more heavily than previously and add to the progressive structures in innumerable ways.

The singer uses both clean vocals and growls, although there seems to be a trend developing now that shows him using his clean vocals more and more. This is reflected in the music too, as the band use blast beats more sparingly than they used too as well. It may be less extreme than some of their other work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any more accessible for the average listener. After all, there are more ways to be extreme than just playing fast.

The music is flawlessly delivered and the level of musicianship on Coma Ecliptic is staggeringly high; this is a band who know how to work their instruments. The compositions are long and involved, as usual, although the average track length is slightly shorter than some of their previous work.

Eschewing anything close to standard song structures, Between the Buried and Me are all about the song sections and how these holistically fit together. There’s a lot to take in over these 69 minutes and the album certainly requires multiple spins to give up its secrets.

All of the songs have their own personality, as you would imagine, and it’s easy to differentiate between them. They’ve always been a highly textured and nuanced band, and this only seems to be becoming more pronounced over time.

Anyone into challenging music that successfully mixes progressive music with extremity, heaviness and quirkiness should definitely check this out.

Insanity – Visions of Apocalypse (Review)

InsanityInsanity are a Death Metal band from the US. This is their second album.

Featuring a sharp Old-School sound, Insanity’s brand of Death Metal is from a much older era, harking back to the 80s period. Death are a clear influence, (pre-Progressive Death Metal), and Insanity are equally as sharp in their delivery. Add this to a simpler, more straight-forward Death Metal style, à la early-Deicide, and you have honest songs that hit the spot more often than not.

Shining leads and solos make frequent grabs for the limelight and the drummer keeps a machine-like performance going throughout.

There’s decent variation within their musical framework and the songwriting concentrates on songs first and foremost. The combination of simple riffs with more-complicated solos, leads and guitar parts makes for a compelling listen. There’s also a slight Thrash Metal influence which means that Visions of Apocalypse has a lot to offer the listener.

The singer’s voice is somewhere between a scream and a growl, nailing down the feeling of Classic Death Metal in my mind.

This is a really satisfying album that I’ve enjoyed more than I expected to; a convincing display of Classic Death Metal in 2015 from a band who were around and active when it was all originally happening. In hindsight, how could this album be anything other than a victory?

Decrepid – Osseous Empire (Review)

DecrepidDecrepid are a UK Death Metal band and this is their second album.

This is Death Metal for all of the purists out there. It’s Old-School in nature and takes a good influence from USDM greats like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Deicide, as well as elements of UK legends Desecration.

Featuring a decent sound and plenty of good riffs, the songs on Osseous Empire make an immediate impression. The combination of well-thought out guitars and Death Metal heaviness makes the album an easy listen to anyone familiar with the style.

The songs are very rhythmic and riff-heavy, with the band seemingly conscious of the necessary ingredients for a working, holistic song rather than just a collection of guitar parts.

Leads and melodies are few and far between, although solos are included to add colour and spice to their attack.

The vocals are deep growls that are extremely satisfying in their delivery. The singer’s performance is faultless and there’s even the odd scream included to add flavour.

If you’re a fan of Death Metal then it’s hard for me to understand how you wouldn’t like Decrepid. I suppose if all you care about is the ultra-modern, ultra-brutal, ultra-fast or ultra-technical then they might not be for you, but if you like well-constructed songs that have all of the components of timeless, Classic Death Metal then Decrepid are an excellent choice.

This really is an impressive album. Undeniably Old-School without sounding stale or irrelevant, Osseous Empire has massively impressed me with its charismatic songs and atavistic Death Metal personality.

One to get hold of immediately.

Inharmonic – Flesh Inferno (Review)

InharmonicThis is the second EP from Finnish Death Metallers Inharmonic.

Inharmonic play Death Metal with a classic 90’s feel via a very modern production. It’s a brutal and traditional style that recalls Deicide or Decapitated’s catchy simplicity.

The band do have a modern sheen characterised by the strong production and the razor-sharp riffing.

Some nice winding leads appear to enhance their core brutality. Solos also appear but for me the real star of this recording is the rhythm guitars as they’re both memorable and infectious.

The crisp sound makes the punishing rhythms almost crash out of the speakers and the band take full advantage of this to pummel the listener into submission.

Flesh Inferno is an effective Death Metal war machine designed to tear through the weak like a carefully honed weapon. It’s surgical, precise and deadly.

I look forward to their first album; if Flesh Inferno is anything to go by it’ll be a right fiery treat.

Good stuff.

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.

Emblazoned – Eucharistiae Sacramentum (Review)

EmblazonedEmblazoned are from the US and this is their début album. They play Blackened Death Metal.

This is music with an evil feel created by minions of some Dark Lord or other who worship and defile their way through 8 tracks of daemonic Death Metal.

The deep growls and high screams call out hymns to darkness whilst the crushing production allows the music to be both heavy and precise.

All of the instruments are clear and played with surgical steel. The drums have an especially crisp sound to them, the bass is audible and worthwhile and the guitars have a crunchy, crushing edge.

The riffs have a Blackened feel to a lot of the melodies which adds a touch of the underworld to the songs; they already have a malevolent feel to them as it is and as the band are mainly interested in creating a brutally evil atmosphere it’s only to be expected that a Black Metal influence should make its way onto the album.

The songs are very enjoyable and make the most of their relatively short playing time by effortlessly blending the brutality of streamlined Death Metal with the dark feeling of Black Metal.

Emblazoned combine parts of bands like Deicide, The Black Dahlia Murder, Satyricon, Behemoth, Arsis and Lvcifyre into their merciless sound and the result is a very strong album indeed.

It’s time for you to check out Emblazoned and join them in their war against the forces of light.

Miasmata – Demo (Review)

MiasmataThis is the first demo by Dutch Death Metal band Miasmata.

It opens explosively with pignoise and blastbeats. A firm opening statement if ever there was one.

It may be just a demo but the sound is acceptable enough and showcases the band’s blend of chugging slam and blasting brutality. Solos and the odd flash of melodics appear in the songs as the band aren’t adverse to adding a bit of colour to the tracks.

I’d classify this short demo as a cross between Dying Fetus and Deicide. This songs are surprisingly enjoyable and overall I like this. This is no frills, no nonsense Death Metal that gets the job done nicely.

This demo is a good first release and if the band spend a bit more time honing their art then I think their eventual début album will go down a storm.

Have a listen.


Deus Otiosus – Rise (Review)

Deus OtiosusDeus Otiosus are from Denmark and play Death Metal.

The band open the album strongly with Rising War and the rest of the album follows in this vein; strong, muscular Death Metal with a hint of Thrash and even a slight Rock influence to some of the riffs and leads.

The vocals are like crumbling granite. Deep and rough; they sound bestial but largely legible at the same time.

The songs are chunky and heavy with just the right amount of melody thrown in to keep things lively, but not enough to derail the heaviness that runs through the tracks like bedrock.

Well-written songs display an ear for dynamics and song structure whilst retaining a raw aggression tempered by a Thrash sensibility. If you imagine a merging of Morbid Angel, Deicide and Malevolent Creation then you won’t be too far off.

The production is crisp and clear, delivering the kind of sound that a lot of bands would kill for.

A top album. Death Metal to Thrash out to.

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.