Xibalba – Diablo, Con Amor… Adios. (Review)

XibalbaXibalba are a US metalcore band and this is their latest EP.

I liked 2015’s Tierra y Libertad, and on this new short EP, Xibalba continue the theme of merging death metal, hardcore and sludge metal influences together to create some monstrously heavy metallic music. Continue reading

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Faustian Dripfeed – Between This and Death (Review)

Faustian DripfeedThis is the debut EP from Nowegian melodic death metal band Faustian Dripfeed.

You never quite know what you’re going to get when something is described as melodic death metal, as frequently it ends up being something that has little or no actual death metal content. Well, this is certainly not the case with Faustian Dripfeed. Continue reading

Ferium – Reflections (Review)

FeriumThis is the début album from Ferium who come from Israel and play Death/Groove Metal with a slight Metalcore-style influence.

This is rabble-rousing groove Metal with a firm Death Metal basis and only a little bit of -core influence added in. A case could be made for calling them Deathcore I suppose, but they don’t share a lot of common ground with most Deathcore bands, (more emphasis on melody and less on breakdowns, etc.), and thus I feel this would be doing them somewhat of a disservice. Genre label quibbles aside, the emphasis is on the Metal, as it should be.

I suppose if you take a cross of, say Lamb of God and Arch Enemy and add more of classic Death Metal influence you’d be in the right area. Or conversely if you take some older bands such as Lipid and Konkhra and add a modern influence you’d end up in similar territory.

The songs are growers; they have an initial impact certainly, but require time to fully appreciate as they are the kind of songs that are unhurried, secure in the knowledge that they’re capable and worthy of repeat visitations.

This is at least partly to do with the fact that a lot of the riffs used here are midway between melodic and brutal, making them stand out and peak the curiosity. The band flirt with Melodic Death Metal but always pull back to heavier climes before fully embracing this destination. It’s an interesting listen.

The vocalist has quite the range, whether it’s deep growls or terror-inducing screams. He has the rhythmic patterns of a modern Metal shouter and the lungs of a Behemoth.

Ferium have produced a quality listen with enough longevity to keep things lively. Let’s see where this band end up as they have a lot to offer the discerning metal fan.

Embalmed – Brutal Delivery of Vengeance (Review)

EmbalmedThis is Brutal Death Metal from this US veteran band, although after all their years this is actually their début album.

Embalmed are a riff-heavy, song-focused band, which immediately means that this album has the potential to be very good indeed. It all depends if the songwriting is up to par of course. Thankfully the band have had plenty of time to refine their songcraft and the results are satisfying to say the least.

This is classic Death Metal. I hesitate to label this Old-School, as although it is, (if only by virtue of not belonging to the New-School), the Old-School label can imply to some people a dredging up of past glories, etc., whereas this is more resolutely timeless and still very relevant. Think Cannibal Corpse USDM.

The songs rampage along with the right amount of belligerence and restraint, content to smash enemies apart but then moving on to the next with brutal efficiency.

Embalmed have a selection of good riffs in every song, and know how to lock into a good groove when the need arises. In addition to the standard blast beats and the more mid-paced sections, they can also be quite dynamic and inventive with the drum beats; they have the same kind of infectious hooks to some of the songs that bands such as Konkhra and Avulsed do so well.

This is a quality USDM album that any Death Metal fan should be able to get on board with.

Loudrage – Uglier Than Thou (Review)

LoudrageUgly music indeed. Heavy and battering, but with unexpected melodic flourishes now and again. Loudrage come from Romania and play Death Metal that’s heavy on the groove, reminding of classic bands like Grave and Konkhra in their heyday.

The first song Doomed is a classic-in-the-making, such a good song it is. I was expecting this to be a one-off but then the second song As Long As I Live is similarly impressive, (although not quite as good as Doomed). The rest of the EP follows on in a similar vein – top-quality, well-written songs which are catchy and have rhythms and riffs to die for.

Each song shares a similar construction; mid-paced, groove-laden, almost-Swedish-style Death Metal that really knows how to wield hooks, riffs and songwriting skills to get the most out of this style of music. Each song is menacing and bouncy at the same time, (as odd as that sounds), and has an energy that is undeniable.

The vocalist is excellent. The deepness of the growls touches something primeval inside and has all of the bowel-loosening qualities necessary to be incredibly satisfying. The higher screams are equally proficient.

The EP has a strong, clear, crunchy sound that fits the songs like a glove. An iron glove made for SMASHING!

I am genuinely surprised by how good this EP is. A band I hadn’t heard of coming out of seemingly nowhere who somehow appear to have delivered an absolute triumph of a release. How they remain unsigned is beyond me. Go and get this now.