Dysmorphic – An Illusive Progress (Review)

Dysmorphic - An Illusive ProgressDysmorphic are a death metal band from France and this is their second album.

Dysmorphic play a mix of technical and brutal death metal, meaning that they fuse straightforward extremity with wandering basslines and intricate guitar complexity that probably requires more fingers than the average human possesses. Continue reading

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Azooma – The Act of Eye (Review)

AzoomaAzooma are a death metal band from Iran. This is their debut album.

This is progressive death metal that sees the band upping their game from their already quite impressive debut release A Hymn of a Vicious Monster. The Act of Eye continues and refines their style, mixing Opeth and Death with elements of more modern bands such as Obscura, Gorod and Gorguts. Continue reading

Red Dawn – Algorithm of Destruction (Review)

Red DawnThis is the début album of these French death metallers.

This is modern technical death metal that will easily find fans in people who like bands such as The Faceless, Gorod, Decapitated, Aborted, Wormed, First Fragment, etc.

Algorithm of Destruction has a clean, precise sound that Continue reading

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.

Antlion – The Prescient (Review)

AntlionAntlion are a Canadian Technical Death Metal band and this is their début album.

Antlion’s brand of Death Metal incorporates some Jazzy, Progressive and Death-style elements into their Technical Death Metal broth and it tastes good. It’s a modern take on the genre and is somewhat of a mix of bands like Gorod and Between the Buried and Me’s quirky extremity, mixed with a classic essence of Death and just the barest touch of Djent.

The music is highly accomplished, featuring enough style and time-changes to satisfy anyone’s craving for challenging music. This is coupled with a wider Progressive sensibility that stops the music from going off the rails completely, but only just.

Liquid leads and fluid guitars fracture into spiky riffs and jagged melodies at a moment’s notice. The merging of the two disparate Progressive Technical Metal worlds that bands like Between the Buried and Me and Death inhabit is a stroke of genius and it’s a joy to hear the modern and the Old-School share space in this way.

The singer’s voice mainly consists of sharp, shrieking screams and aggressive growls. His performance fits the music and it’s nicely rabid the entire way through.

For all of their seeming-randomness, these are tightly controlled songs that have a surprising emotive content and even catchiness in places, both of which are unexpected for a band of this ilk.

This is an impressive release, especially for a début. I would love for this band to develop their Progressive side in the future, but at the same time keeping the inherent unpredictability of their Technical side. This would probably mean songs that average about 10 minutes in length each, but I’m happy with that. As it is though, The Prescient is a very involving slab of Technical/Progressive Death Metal with loads of content and a nasty bite.

Highly recommended.

Gorod – A Maze of Recycled Creeds (Review)

GorodGorod are a Death Metal band from France and this is their fifth album.

The band play Technical Death Metal and play it pretty damn well. Over the course of their existence they have built up a rightfully-deserved reputation for quality and on this latest release it’s easy to see why.

Gorod have always been fond of atypical, unusual, Jazz-inflected riffs and on A Maze of Recycled Creeds there seems to be even more of these than usual, which, if you’re familiar with Gorod at all, is only ever a good thing.

Another, (one of many), good things about Gorod is their inclusion of a Progressive Metal element to their music, which allows the band to lock into some astoundingly good sections as the album tears along, mindful of not letting slip any moment for greatness. This is Technical Death Metal that values songs and recognises the need for good atmosphere and feeling among the Jazz/Funk craziness and experimental brutality.

All of the instruments are shockingly well-played and Gorod are one of those seemingly-rare bands that know not only how to use a bass guitar but also that you must be able to actually hear it for it to be truly utilised correctly.

Vocally the singer has a charismatic growl that’s largely blunt and ugly, yet still seemingly refined when compared to a lot of Death Metal vocalists. His voice is put to good use throughout the songs and he has enough variety in his delivery to keep interest while still having a consistency that helps anchor the music’s more extravagant tendencies.

This is a very impressive album from a talented band. The songs are well-written and performed by veterans who are at the height of their game. If you take bands as diverse as Gorguts, Between the Buried and Me, Soilent Green, Death and The Faceless, mash them all up and condense them into 46 minutes of controlled mayhem, you’ll end up with A Maze of Recycled Creeds.

Priceless.

Super Massive Black Holes – Calculations of the Ancients (Review)

Super Massive Black HolesCanadian band Super Massive Black Holes play Experimental/Progressive Jazzy Death Metal, and this is their début album.

This is bright and shiny music that’s technical but also slightly whimsical in nature; there’s something of the Devin Townsend about it.

The band manage to mix disparate elements of Devin Townsend, Opeth, Ephel Duath, Gojira and Cephalic Carnage; schizoid jazzy breakdowns, atmospheric interludes, Stoner vibe rockathons, pseudo-Grind workouts and heavy melodic cyber Metal all collide on this album.

The songs are surprisingly cohesive for all this. Sometimes an idea or a section can feel a bit half-formed or unfinished, however, although from the sound of it this could very well be intentional; to keep the listener guessing or to stop them becoming complacent?

The vocals are mainly between a shout and a growl, with the vocalist reminding a little of the singer of Gorod, or even Gojira on occasion, only not quite as emotive.

I like this album, although it definitely needs time to reveal its charms and won’t be to all tastes. Give them a listen and see what you think.

Sulaco – Build & Burn (Review)

SulacoInventive, modern Grind is what Sulaco have in store for us here, with the odd dashing of Death Metal thrown in for good measure. Think longer-song-style Grind, rather than the shorter-song-style. Like somewhere between Cephalic Carnage and Gorguts or Gorod. Only not quite like that…

This is harsh music and not for the unwary. Choppy, changing, discordant guitars lead the way challenging the listener at every turn, while the drums both set the pace and hold everything together. Needless to say these are skilled musicians who know their Grind, which is only to be expected as they contain a now-former member of Brutal Truth.

The vocals are mostly halfway between a scream and a more hardcore-style shout, which immediately gives the band more of an individual slant than a lot of generic Grindcore bands. It works well here and complements the harshness of the music with an almost Drowningman-type intensity that adds an extra layer of depth to the tunes.

With plenty of ideas, some sharp technicality and the odd flourish of melody and sustained aggressive Metal this is a most enjoyable album.