Distant – Tyrannotophia (Review)

Distant - TyrannotophiaThis is the debut album from Distant, a deathcore band from the Netherlands.

Tyrannotophia combines underground slam-infused death metal with brutal deathcore. It’s easy to be lazy with this sort of thing and end up with a generic record, but Tyrannotophia is definitely an above-standard release. Continue reading

Advertisements

Within Destruction – Deathwish (Review)

Within Destruction - DeathwishThis is the third album from Slovenian death metal/deathcore band Within Destruction.

Within Destruction’s second album Void was one that made a notable impact. Here we had an album that did deathcore right; blistering death metal extremity coupled with huge slamming deathcore beatdowns, all delivered in a modern package of brutality and carnage. Top stuff. Continue reading

The Ritual Aura – Laniakea (Review)

The Ritual AuraThis is the début album from Australian Technical Death Metallers The Ritual Aura.

This is sci-fi themed Death Metal that takes the listener on a brutal and dizzying journey that may only last 26 minutes but is definitely worth the effort.

After an ominous piano intro, the first song Ectoplasm starts and it’s clear we’re in for a world of extreme technicality.

The Ritual Aura excel at combining hyperspeed wizardry with blazing melody and brutal inflections. Elements of bands such as Death and Necrophagist can be heard in their sound, as well as a much more modern style, such as can be found being played by bands like Rings of Saturn, The Faceless and Infant Annihilator.

This is imaginative music that takes its sci-fi theme and creatively incorporates this into the melodies, creating some quite unusual electronica/games-soundtrack-esque sounds that manage to avoid everything that’s usually wrong with bands when they try to do something like this. It sounds like a natural extension of the chaotic-yet-melodic music without sullying it with words like “novel” or “gimmick”.

Although it’s the music that is the central focal point here, the band would not be as enjoyable if they didn’t have vocals. The singer uses surgical growls and unhinged, savage screams. Although not as colourful as the music, (the human voice just isn’t capable), he does a great job of anchoring everything in place and providing a brutal linchpin while the music is off exploring unknown heights and realms. Clean vocals make a very brief appearance on Erased in the Purge, and these are a welcome addition to the mayhem.

Laniakea is short and to the point, resulting in an album that doesn’t outstay its welcome. In fact, I’m more than happy to have this around again to blow the cobwebs off the competition. There’s an energy level and an excitement factor to this music that makes a lot of more generic bands sound quite stale by comparison.

Great stuff. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

Power of Ground – The Butcher (Review)

Power of GroundPower of Ground are from Bangladesh and this is their début EP. They play Technical Brutal Death Metal.

Here we have aggressive Death Metal played with passion and with an ear for a good riff. This is a brutal release with a flavour somewhere between Old-School and a bit newer.

The production values are quite raw, but this is only a début release so that’s okay. It’s not a bad sound though, it just needs filling out a bit in my opinion.

The songs themselves though are nasty slices of visceral Death Metal with a good trade-off between technicality and ugly brutality; similar to a band like Dying Fetus in the sense that they can sometimes juxtapose the two, but they don’t really sound like them overall. I’d say they mix a bit of Dying Fetus with elements of Severe Torture, Defeated Sanity, Infant Annihilator and even a bit of old Hypocrisy in the slower parts.

I like that the band have a lot of ideas and are clearly hungry for this style of music. It sounds fresh and ready to kill. There are a lot of good riffs here and these generally congeal into decent songs.

The vocalist is impressive and talented; screams, growls, pignoise grunts – it’s all here. The vocals are one of the highlights for me, ranging from extreme Death Metal growls to Grindcore-style, unhinged shrieks. Great stuff.

This is a very promising start for Power of Ground. So what do we want next? If they improve on their recording a bit and continue to write interesting and engaging songs like this then their debut album should be a great listen. I can’t wait to hear what they do next.

Coprocephalic – The Oath of Relinquishment (Review)

CoprocephalicThis is the second album from Coprocephalic; a Death Metal band who have a Taiwanese/International origin.

Coprocephalic play Brutal Death Metal. This is ultra-brutal and not for the weak-hearted. The band manage to pull off something a bit different though than most as they combine an interesting perspective on brutality with dissonant melodics creating an unusual take on Brutal Death Metal that’s refreshing and addictive.

This is pure brutality and the riffs come thick and fast. When they’re not trying to beat you to death with blunt breakdowns and heavy chopping they’re trying to stab you to death with sharp melodics and atypical noises.

This is a band who play thoroughly Modern Death Metal with a twist of the most extreme Deathcore the likes of which is peddled by Infant Annihilator and Rings of Saturn. It’s frenzied, savage and not at all pleasant; just the way we like it.

Utter pig-noise vocals sound like someone’s trying to vomit up their own stomach and even though I’m not normally the biggest fan of this style of vocals here it works perfectly with the music. In this sense they’re not too far removed from fellow label mates Infecting the Swarm.

The Oath of Relinquishment is high energy and it’s hard not to feel excited when listening to this. It’s just pure fucking Metal and more brutal than most can handle.

I love it. Let’s all get behind this talented band now.

Acrania – Totalitarian Dystopia (Review)

AcraniaAcrania are from the UK and play Death Metal. This is their début album.

I have really enjoyed their material to date, so I was eager to hear this album. Thankfully they have met my expectations as this release is chock full with enough crushing Death Metal and Deathcore to sink a battleship.

Acrania have a crystal clear sound that’s extraordinarily heavy and surgical in precision with its killing blows.

The band specialise in the type of bouncy Deathcore riffs that you can’t help but move around to. This is coupled with brutal hyperblasting to create Modern Death Metal that’s somewhere between the extremity of Infant Annihilator and the belligerent -core of All Shall Perish.

The vocals are as extreme as you’d expect, running the entire spectrum from pignoise to growls to screams. It’s a solid performance.

The songs are not just about the breakdowns though, as there’s more than enough Death Metal here to satisfy people who are put off by the -core part of the style. The band also have ample opportunity to show off their technical skills with occasional lead guitars that seem to flare out of nowhere before dying back once more and letting the relentless barrage of the rhythm guitars take the fore again.

A hugely enjoyable release that’s more than the sum of its colossal riffs; this is an album that takes the Deathcore template and makes it their own.

Highly recommended for all fans of sonic heaviness and utter brutality.

Years of Tyrants – Leading the Blind (Review)

Years of TyrantsI believe the appropriate response upon pressing play and hearing the blasting, shredding brutality here is “holy shit”. Their sound is somewhere between technical Death Metal and technical Deathcore. And what a sound it is. Explosive doesn’t do it justice. If you like bands such as Beneath the Massacre and Infant Annihilator then this is for you.

Another French band worshipping at the altar of bruality and being rewarded handsomely by the Gods of Heaviness. One thing this album has in abundance is energy. The kind of energy that makes you want to flail around ripping anything and everything to shreds and then stomping on the remains. Riffs, licks, leads, drums – it all flies past in a blur of bloody fingers and broken drumsticks.

The sheer weight of aggression here is staggering, and thankfully there are strong songwriting skills on display; otherwise this could have been just a mess of riffs and shouting whereas what we actually have is a cohesive, albeit very short release. Too short really. Will we get more? Only time will tell but I for one do hope so.