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.

Slaughterday – Nightmare Vortex (Review)

SlaughterdaySlaughterday hail from Germany and play Death Metal. The Old-School is strong with this one! I also love the album cover. I’m a sucker for this kind of otherworldly-landscape type stuff.

The first song Unearthly Evocation sets the scene with a no-fills entrance and some solid riffing. The Old-School Death Metal vibe is apparent throughout, as well as some good Slayer-esque guitar parts that sound quite creepy.

The second song Nightmare Vortex, and the rest of the album, continue this trend. There are some well constructed solos and leads on this release, as well as some considered songwriting. Slaughterday are arguably at their best when going slower; the start of Cult of the Dreaming Dead is a great example of this – twisting, turning riffing building up and crashing down again until the faster section and growls kick in.

Even the vocals have an Old-School feeling – classic Death Metal-deep, without going over the top; you can still make out some of the words.

My favourite track is probably Addicted to the Grave. A nice slow burner with a catchy chorus.

If you have a taste for Old-School Death Metal played well then you could do a lot worse than Slaughterday. This is Metal, played well and enjoyable. I’m sold.


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.

Harm – Cadaver Christi (Review)

HarmGermany’s Harm play old-school Death Metal, with chainsaw guitars and an uncompromising attitude.

There is some excellent, malevolent riffing on this album and the sense of 90’s Death Metal is strong. A time when constant blast and hyper-technicality were not important, and instead you have songs, riffs and brutal Metal. In fact if I had been told that this was a lost gem from the 90’s recorded at Sunlight Studio I could believe it.

Strength and persistence are key attributes to Harm; the old adage about slow and steady winning the race…well not slow perhaps but they certainly know how to settle into a malevolent groove and make the most of it. All of this is wrapped up in a strong sound that lets you hear every instrument individually and lets everything breathe nicely.

This may be an album steeped in Death Metal’s past, but it’s a past I’m quite comfortable visiting, and Harm are the perfect, brutish guides.

Also; the vocalist sounds like he’s trying to kill himself by vomiting up his insides. What more can you say? Nice work!