Cast the Stone – Empyrean Atrophy (Review)

Cast the StoneCast the Stone are a death metal band from the US and this is their latest EP.

An EP this may be, but we still get a meaty 27 minutes of material to tear into. Featuring current and ex-members of bands such as Scour, Cattle Decapitation, and Misery Index, (among others), this release draws on the individual band members’ experience, but easily stands as its own distinct entity. Continue reading

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Scour – Red (Review)

ScourThis is the latest EP from US black metal band Scour.

Containing members and ex-members of bands such as Pig Destroyer, Decrepit Birth, Cattle Decapitation, Down, Pantera, Misery Index, and many, many others, before you even listen to this you know that a lot of experience has gone into it. Continue reading

Die Choking – III (Review)

Die ChokingThis is the debut album from US Grinders Die Choking.

After two very good-but-short EPs, (I and II), we now get III; this time, it’s longer.

Although not by much, really. Here we have a whole 14 minutes of tightly-compressed angry music. After the promise of the two EPs, this release lives up to my expectations.

The music is modern Grindcore full of extremity and rage, burning everyone around it with its intensity and brutality.

Their sound has progressed and developed from their earlier Grindings into an even more focused expression of hatred and violence. The vocals have improved and seem buried in the music in such a way it seems impossible to separate them.

Each song may be short, but they still manage to pack in a lot of content, with quite a few different sub-styles of Grind rearing their malformed heads throughout. It all adds a good degree of interest and variety in what is essentially a chaotic blast-fest of brutality and destruction. From old to new styles, from crust to modern, from Napalm Death to Misery Index; there’s a lot of meat on this violent treat.

If you’re into Grindcore, (and who isn’t, really?), then this is highly enjoyable and easily likeable.

Mindful of Pripyat – …And Deeper I Drown in Doom… (Review)

Mindful of PripyatMindful of Pripyat are an Italian Grindcore band and this is their début EP.

This is Old-School Deathgrind with a devastating sound that’s heavy enough to crush a tank.

Mindful of Pripyat are all about the brutality. Blast beats and energetic fast-paced mayhem is the order of business and business is good.

The vocals are a three pronged approach, consisting of deathgrunts, pignoise belching and serrated screams. All are performed well with the main growls sounding especially brutal.

The music is short and to-the-point, as you would expect from the style. The guitars are half-way between Death Metal and Hardcore which lends the album a vitality that can sometimes be lacking in some Grind.

Like the best Extreme Metal, Mindful of Pripyat are just plain satisfying. Everything about their music from the overpowering sound to the merciless riffing to the barbarous vocals just appeals to my sense of what savage music should sound like.

Like a mash-up of Napalm Death, Terrorizer and Misery Index, Mindful of Pripyat have unleashed a storming first release here, and one can only imagine what they will get up to in the future. If they can retain this level of production value and songwriting skill then they can only go from strength to strength.

If well-produced Deathgrind is your thing then Mindful of Pripyat have got you covered. This really is quite an exceptional release; not because there’s anything ground breaking or innovative here, but purely because of the strength of the music alone. …And Deeper I Drown in Doom… is invigorating and like a welcome, painful shot of adrenaline right through the skull.

Quality Grindcore can never be kept down.

Mindscar – Kill the King (Review)

MindscarMindscar are from the US and this is their début album. They play Death Metal.

This is an interesting release. The band play Death Metal that’s brutal and is not without technicality, yet also features a good amount of melodic and atmospheric sections and even clean vocals on occasion.

It’s a winning combination. The blasting brutality of the Death Metal core mixes surprisingly well with the more restrained, melodic parts.

The band seem to be talented musicians and there are no shortage of solos or technical wizardry.

The more atmospheric sections have the aura of Nile or Behemoth if they experimented with background clean vocals a bit more. They definitely have an exotic flavour to these parts and it’s great to see a band spread their wings to incorporate wide influences as well as the more traditionally brutal aspects of their sound.

They’re not afraid to show their Classic Metal heritage either, with a few riffs that would do Iron Maiden proud lurking here and there, albeit heavied-up some.

Sort of a cross between elements of Behemoth, Nile, Atrocity, Orphaned Land, Melechesh, Gorguts and Misery Index. Quite an eclectic mix in some ways when you see it written down, but when you hear it it all slots together quite naturally.

You’ve gotta love an Extreme Metal band who are willing to push the boundaries a bit. Kill the King fuses blasting extremity with melodic abandon and exotic atmospherics to great effect. Importantly they get the ratio correct. It’s mainly heavy and brutal, contains a good amount of flashy solos and leads, with the more atmospheric sections used sparingly for maximum effect.

Very good stuff indeed. Listen and enjoy.

Hate Division – Order of the Enslaved (Review)

Hate DivisionHate Division are from Canada and this is their second album of Death Metal.

No crappy intro and no messing around; the band launch straight into a blastbeat. This is Brutal Death Metal that is played fast and loud with plenty of double bass and twisting, crunching guitars.

Slower, more melodic sections and solos make appearances also and add spice to the flavour of the album.

There are elements of bands like Origin and Misery Index mixed with bits of bands like Cannibal Corpse and Severe Torture. It’s loud, substantial and uncompromising.

Hate Division are a funny band in a way, as this is a surprisingly subtle album. It’s all relative of course as we’re still talking about Brutal Death Metal here, but what I mean is this; the album grows on you over time and the band may be heavy, angry and in your face but they’re not flashy or gimmicky; they’re content to let the music do its stuff.

This is the kind of album that upon first listen it’s like, “yeah it’s good”, but then without even realising it you’re playing it again. And again. And again. Before you know it you have a much more intimate relationship with it than you were expecting. The band don’t take no for an answer.

So give this a listen and let the blastbeats and the riffs explode over you. It’s time to join the Hate Division.

Misery Index – Retaliate

Misery Index - RetaliateRetaliate is a quality grind album from 2003 – if you are a fan of intelligent grind then I heartily recommend this.

For fans of Napalm Death/Brutal Truth/Dying Fetus-style grind in the sense that there are actual songs with lyrics that are better than just the usual gore/sex/etc. tirade.

The songs are quite catchy in places, which just reinforces the quality of songwriting available here. Admittedly there is nothing groundbreaking here; but who needs groundbreaking when grind is done so well? I’d take Misery Index over a whole host of lesser “innovative” bands any day.

Check them out –

https://www.facebook.com/MiseryIndex

http://themiseryindex.tumblr.com/