Those Who Bring The Torture – Piling Up (Review)

those who bring the tortureThose Who Bring The Torture are from Sweden and this is their fourth album of Death Metal.

This is the latest album featuring Rogga Johansson, who we’ve met before in Megascavenger. This should already tell you a little something about the quality levels on this release.

According to the promo text, Those Who Bring The Torture play their Death Metal in a style that will suit fans of Grave, Hypocrisy and Malevolent Creation; it’s hard to argue with this description.

This is Swedish Death Metal at its core but with a few additional elements that prevent it sounding generic. Imagine Hypocrisy if they created a Swedish Death Metal album but with their own, older sound.

The songs are heavy and strong, and like its Swedish Death Metal heritage it’s strong on melodies. These melodies are memorable and provide a focus point for the songs to move around. There are some great riffs here and each track demonstrates a band who are capable of combining Death Metal brutality with sterling melody and songwriting.

Vocally the deep growls are bowel loosening and very satisfying. Higher screams are added to this when necessary and it’s a faultless performance all round.

This timeless and classic approach to Death Metal pays real dividends and Piling Up is an easy album to like. The songs carry themselves with an air of familiarity but just enough to evoke a smile and not enough to roll the eyes like you’ve heard it all before.

Those Who Bring The Torture have got their killing style down to a fine, bloody art. Anyone who’s into Old-School/Classic/Swedish Death Metal will have no cause to complain when they hear this.

Time to raise the flag for proper Death Metal once more. Let the slaughter commence.

Morthus – The Abyss (Review)

MorthusThis is the début EP from Polish Blackened Death Metallers Morthus.

This is a 3 track EP that contains such wonders in its short playing time!

It starts with the track Torment; suitably titled, it seems to be the usual kind of perfunctory intro until it redeems itself with some actual music about halfway through. This segues into the second track Beast from the Abyss and it’s clear that although this is their first non-demo release, it’s impressively professional and has a great sound.

The band play with a Death Metal core while adding some melodic Black Metal influences to the riffs and the occasional scream that enhances the main growling vocals. Merging the two genres of Black and Death can sometimes create mixed results, but they have distilled their influences into the right measures it seems.

The guitars take the Death Metal base and throw in some tricks from both Black and Classic Heavy Metal, including some duelling guitars and some excellent leads/solos.

Stylistically they remind of Hypocrisy in the sense that they combine these three elements quite naturally and seamlessly, although it should be stressed that they don’t actually sound too much like Hypocrisy except in a very superficial way.

The third song is named In the White Wolf’s Kingdom and is another master-crafted combination of the various Metal styles. It slowly unfolds with a Blackly melodic Metal riff into a mid-paced jog before introducing faster elements. They also add additional choral elements to their repertoire and these work very well. It’s another win for Morthus who suitably demonstrate their talents on this all-too-short EP.

Morthus are a perfect example of why the Extreme Metal underground deserves so much support – there are hidden gems tucked away everywhere in plain sight, all you have to do is go looking for them and you will be rewarded.

This is an absolute top-notch release and I cannot wait until they release a full album. If it’s even half as good as this it will be better than most.

Essential listening.

Question – Doomed Passages (Review)

QuestionQuestion are a Mexican Death Metal band and this is their début album.

The band give their Death Metal a mysterious occult sheen and the music is steeped in it. Rather than a straightforward blastfest or one dimensional brutality Question inject their music with a smattering of Death-like melody and a feeling of grandiose song structure.

There is blasting, of course, and there is brutality, but there is more than just this. Dark melodies and slower sections are rife and the compositions are right up there from the heights of the Classic Death Metal era.

Question channel the Death Metal greats such as Death, Incantation, Hypocrisy, Morbid Angel and Suffocation to deliver an engaging and involving album that doesn’t take the easy or simple route.

The compositions are well written and show a degree of maturity and integrity that most bands lack. Longer songs give the band’s creativity time to shine and allow them to demonstrate their breadth of talent within the Death Metal genre.

The singer has a deep voice that’s absolutely monolithic; like an angry God from ancient days past decreeing loudly from the mountain tops.

This may be a new album but it is stylistically of a time when each song had its own identity and albums were holistically a complete package.

Top marks for Question.

Deep In Hate – Chronicles of Oblivion (Review)

Deep In HateThis is the third album from French Death Metallers Deep In Hate.

The band have a good line in both brutality and melody and combine the two nicely; crushing riffs and double-bass beatdowns compete with melodic leads and riffs.

This is a band who are fully comfortable at the modern end of the Death Metal spectrum without completely giving themselves over to Deathcore; although there is a healthy influence from that most maligned of subgenres it stays on the Death Metal side of the equation more often than not. The result? Aborted meets Beneath the Massacre meets Whitechapel with, as strange as this might sound, elements of Hypocrisy at their heaviest.

The sound is crystal clear and the band use this to show you exactly what they are capable of in all its visceral glory. This is modern Death Metal played proficiently and with the sole aim of battering and beating the listener into submission.

The added melodic parts are there to keep things from becoming one-dimensional however, and the sheer aggression and brutality of the band as a whole never allows the melodies to get too out of hand; you could never describe them as Melodic Death Metal, for example. It’s a winning brutality-to-melody-ratio; brutality clearly comes out on top but the melodic aspect holds its own when the songs need it.

The vocals are deep roars full of aggression and testosterone. These alternate with occasional higher screams. The singer takes his cues from the Aborted singer and shares a talent for interesting vocal rhythms and patterns.

Each of the songs has its own identity and is capable of being a ambassador for the band. No filler.

Kaotoxin Records seem to have a talent for sniffing out the very best of French Metal talent. Deep In Hate are their latest find; let them be yours too.