Nephren-Ka – The Fall of Omnius (Review)

Nephren-KaThere seems to be an upswell of talent in the extreme metal world in France of late. Nephren-Ka are one such band.

Easily boasting enough talent, ideas and skill to propel them to the upper echelons of the Death Metal world; given the chance this band could, (and should), go far.

Although this is, in essence, brutal Death Metal; there is so much more going on here. Elements of most styles of extreme metal are included in the mix at some point or another, (all within a Death Metal framework), with plenty of small touches, flourishes and individuality to make this release stand out head and shoulders above the pack.

The band know how to blast, but crucially also when not to. “Mastering the Voice” for example contains some lovely slow, crawling bits that rival the best similar parts that Cryptopsy have ever done. Some nice solos are scattered around, as well as enough atmosphere to give the album enough variety and interest but never allows it to go off-track and become something it shouldn’t.

The songwriting is top-notch, with plenty of dynamics and riffs to hold the attention and differentiate the individual songs from each other. The vocals also show a pleasing amount of variety, spanning the spectrum from deep to high, as necessary for the requirements of the song.

This is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best Death Metal albums I have listened to in a while, and I unreservedly recommend it for any and all fans of extreme metal. Top stuff.

Night Heir – A Maze of Evenings (Review)

Night HeirAtmospheric metal from the US. There is plenty of variety and individuality on display here, with varying styles from Black Metal to Doom, and everything in between. The band are not afraid to experiment, so you’ll find plenty to hold the interest on this album if you like your metal with a touch of the Avant Garde/experimental.

I also notice what seems to be an In The Woods… influence, so if you imagine a band like In The Woods… with extra Black Metal, Doom, Folk, etc. parts thrown in you’ll be on the right lines.

This will not be to everyone’s tastes of course, but if you are in the right mood then stick this album on and relax, zone out and just get swallowed up in the atmosphere and the journey.

If you’re looking from something a bit different then give them a listen – you won’t regret it!

Coffins – Buried Death (Review)

CoffinsDoomy Death Metal from Japan is the order of the day here. Imagine the doom-death of a band like Incantation, and combine this with the swagger of a band like Orange Goblin – you get the idea. This formula may sound a little unusual at first but trust me it works and makes for a very enjoyable album to boot.

Here we have slow, (mostly), sludgy Death Metal with plenty of atmosphere and attitude.  The production fits the sound perfectly – strong without being clean, murky without being sloppy. Each song has a definite old-school vibe that is missing from a lot of Death Metal these days and contributes to the enjoyment factor. Even on the first listen it sounds like an old friend, but not in a bad, heard-it-all-before way; rather the familiarity is welcome and adds to the overall feeling of a high-quality release with enjoyable songs.

I highly advise you have a listen as soon as you can!

Suffocation – Suffocation (Review)

SuffocationSuffocation have been around for some time now and are relatively well known, so this band needs no real introduction I feel. Suffice to say that technical and brutal Death Metal is the order of the day here; and Suffocation do what they do very well in deed.

This album is well-written and composed, and has a very good production with all of the instruments clear and well-recorded. The vocals are nice and deep, as you’d expected from a band of this style, but still remain legible in cases as they are not of the bowel-loosening-low variety.

Probably their slowest release, (but still with more than enough speed and blast); this is an album of riffs. Riffs galore, riffs aplenty, riff-driven. The riffs alone are enough to justify getting this album, let alone everything else.

A strong album; this should be a comfortable fit as part of any Death Metal fan’s collection.

https://www.facebook.com/suffocation

Stellar Descent/Aylwin – Farallon (Review)

FarallonThis is a split between Stellar Descent an Aylwin, and long, epic, Cascadian-style Black Metal is the order of the day here.

The songs by both bands are well constructed examples of this particular sub-genre and are positively brimming with atmosphere and feelings that evoke the harsh reality of a beautiful yet potentially deadly landscape.

I think this style of music has a lot to offer, especially when done well and with obvious passion such as is displayed here.  Both bands also benefit from strong recordings and sound, whilst still within a recognisably Black Metal style.

Highly recommended this; for anyone who likes their Black Metal bleak and unforgiving, yet naturalistic and wild.

https://www.facebook.com/aylwinblackmetal

https://www.facebook.com/StellarDescent

Forgotten Woods – The Curse of Mankind

Forgotten Woods

This exceptional Black Metal album was released in 1996; if you like your depressive/suicidal Black metal then I recommend you track it down and get it immediately.

Considered by many the forefathers of this particular sub-genre, (alongside Burzum of course), their sound is archetypal and much-copied.

The album is typically raw and unpolished, yet still well-recorded  enough, (relatively speaking), so that the songs shine, albeit in a murky, dank, grim kind of way!

This is the kind of album where you can easy drift off and become one with the repetitive guitars and the feeling they convey.  For this reason I find this album very satisfying and worthy of inclusion in anyone’s collection.

A must.

https://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Forgotten-Woods/90469455587

http://www.youtube.com/artist/forgotten-woods

Hypocrisy – A Taste of Extreme Divinity

A Taste of Extreme DivinityI have been a fan of Hypocrisy since their 1999 self-titled album, and since then I have been hooked. Across their many albums they have been quite diverse; playing everything from brutal Death Metal, to Black Metal and everything in between.

This album, from 2009, can best be described as melodic Death Metal – catchy songs with good choruses are abundant here. Comparisons can be made to bands such as Amon Amarth in this respect; as this album follows in a similar vein to their output.  If you like this style of music, or indeed Amon Amarth; then it’s a safe bet you’ll like A Taste of Extreme Divinity.

With Peter Tägtgren behind the helm you should already know that the sound on this album is suitably huge, with his voice complementing this nicely.

Strongly recommended for some good headbanging fun!

https://www.facebook.com/hypocrisy

Abnormality – Contaminating the Hive Mind (Review)

abnormalityFemale-fronted brutal/technical death metal, although if you didn’t know the vocalist was female you wouldn’t necessarily think so – that’s how brutal and guttural the vocals are.

If you like this style of music then you know what to expect here.  What is to separate them from any number of other brutal death metal bands? Well, quite simply the’re just better than most! How so? Excellent vocals and tight musicianship; combined with a massive production and great songs mean this is a must for any death metal fan.

I seriously recommend this album.

Find out more –

https://www.facebook.com/AbnormalityOfficial