Cryptic Realms – Enraptured by Horror (Review)

Cryptic RealmsThis is the debut album by Cryptic Realms, a death metal band with members from various countries.

Featuring the singer of Abyssus, (one of my favourites), I was keen to see what Cryptic Realms had to offer.

Here we have classic, old-school death metal, played with a purity of intent and grim authenticity. Taking cues from Continue reading

Advertisements

The End – Age of Apocalypse (Review)

The EndThe End are a death metal band from the US. This is their debut EP.

Featuring ex-members of Massacre and Death, this is 13 minutes of old-school Floridian death metal that sees the band take their Death/Massacre backgrounds and use them to craft a brutal assault that also takes more current influences into account. Continue reading

Dementia 13 – Ways of Enclosure (Review)

Dementia 13Dementia 13 are a Death Metal band from Portugal. This is their début album.

Sometimes only Old-School Death Metal will do. Yes, it’s always nice to hear the latest in TechDeath fusion, or the latests sophisticated Avant-Garde Black Metal opus, or some new-fangled take on Doom…but sometimes you just want something primitive, ugly and swamped in Death Metal’s rich heritage. For times like that, there’s bands like this.

This is horror-inspired music, with each track finding inspiration in a different film.

With a decent sound that means the guitars sound good and heavy while the bass is actually audible, Dementia 13 take a festering, decaying sub-genre by storm and kick up some dust and muck while they’re at it.

This is a very satisfying release. The tasty riffs and deep, growling vocals hit the right spots and Ways of Enclosure is full of grim, filthy Death Metal that manages to capture the spirit of the Old-School style perfectly without sounding stale or tired, as so many do.

The singer’s voice is perfectly gruff but still surprisingly legible. His throaty growl tears along over the steady pace of the music, while the guitars throw out riff after riff and dark tidings aplenty.

Fans of Bolt Thrower, Massacre, Entombed, Autopsy and Six Feet Under will find a lot to enjoy with Dementia 13.

The Grotesquery – Curse of the Skinless Bride (Review)

The GrotesqueryThis is the third album by this Death Metal supergroup, featuring members and ex-members of Massacre, Death, Edge of Sanity, Mantas, Bone Gnawer, Paganizer, Ribspreader, Liklukt and This Haven.

First off, I want to acknowledge the album title – now that’s a Metal album title. Top work!

But anyway…onto the music. Here we have some Old-School Death Metal with plenty of groove and mid-paced heaviness. This is 90’s-style Death Metal from an era when songs still mattered and each track was thought of in a holistic manner.

As such, the songwriting here befits the music and the Metal flows nicely from track to track. Or interlude, as the case may be. This is a Horror-themed release so there are numerous interludes to progress the story.

The guitar riffs are appropriate to the style, of course, but the melodies and riffs chosen also seem to further the atmosphere as espoused by the narrative. The result is not just a trip down Death Metal memory lane but an immersive experience into the realms of Horror Metal.

Good sound, good Metal. Here’s to The Grotesquery.

Just Before Dawn – The Aftermath (Review)

Just Before DawnJust Before Dawn is an international “supergroup” of sorts. This is their second album.

This is a war-themed Death Metal album in the Swedish style, replete with Chainsaw sound and harrowing melodics. This is combined with a good Bolt Thrower influence to produce the mother of all War Metal sounds.

The album features contributions from members of bands like Megascavenger, Massacre, Bolt Thrower, God Macabre, Bodyfarm, Aeon, Puteraeon, Morgoth and Demonical. Due to this, you know it’s going to be played and performed well, which it is.

As this is essentially Swedish Death Metal there are no real surprises here, content-wise, but that’s not important; what is important is the songs themselves and how good they are.

The calibre of the musicians involved and their collective experience means that they are not found wanting in this regard, of course. The songs are as warlike and bloodthirsty as you would expect.

The tracks pound and demolish their way across the battlefield like an armoured steamroller; heavy, relentless and unstoppable.

In some ways there’s not a lot to say about an album like this. If you like the Swedish style, if you like Bolt Thrower, if you like good riffs and good songs…you’ll like Just Before Dawn.

Check them out.

Megascavenger – At the Plateaus of Leng (Review)

MegascavengerThe latest Megascavenger album, (a project of Rogga Johansson), contains quite the list of guest vocalists – just have a look at the line up, (taken from the promo blurb) –

1. At The Plateaus Of Leng (Vocals by DAVE INGRAM of Bolt Thrower/Benediction)

2. The Festered Earth (Vocals by KAM LEE of Massacre)

3. And Then The Death Sets In (Vocals by AAD KLOOSTERWAARD of Sinister)

4. The Mucus Man (Vocals by MARTIN VAN DRUNEN of Asphyx/Hail of Bullets)

5. Like Comets Burn The Ether (Vocals by DAVE ROTTEN of Avulsed)

6. When Death Kills The Silence (Vocals by FELIX STASS of Crematory)

7. The Hand Of Bereavment (Vocals by ILKKA JARVENPÄÄ of National Napalm Syndicate)

8. Back To The Ancient (Vocals by BRYNJAR HELGETUN of Crypticus)

9. Night Of The Grand Obscenity (Vocals by ROGGA JOHANSSON)

If that’s not enough to get expectations running high I don’t know what is.

This album is full of melodic Old-School Death Metal goodness, but also a few unexpected turns such as the clean vocals/keyboard side of The Festered Earth, or the cleans of The Hand of Bereavement. Variety is a good thing however and these little flourishes and touches just enhance the album as a whole.

At the Plateaus of Leng is crushing and without mercy, stomping and stamping on all who oppose. But more than brutality these songs are surprisingly melodic and succeed well in hooking the listener. The tracks march along easily enough, propelled by the mid-paced barrage of the drums and carried aloft by the tuneful guitars. Each song is well-written, being identifiable from the last and not just because of the different vocals. This is an album of songs rather than just a collection of tracks, and there are catchy moments in great supply.

All of the vocalists do a sterling job and add their own personality and character into each of the compositions. Each song may have a different vocalist but the album flows nicely and doesn’t sound disjointed or like a compilation album, even when they veer into more Heavy Metal territory with clean singing it still holds together well as a package.

A very accomplished release, chock full of classic Death Metal songs, each one as enjoyable as the last.