Hybrid Sheep – Hail to the Beast (Review)

Hybrid SheepThis is the second album from French death metal band Hybrid Sheep.

After the promise shown on 2014’s Free from the Clutches of Gods, Hybrid Sheep have now returned with another instalment of their modern death metal, and have showed some nice progress since their first opening release. Continue reading

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Aversions Crown – Xenocide (Review)

Aversions CrownAversions Crown are a death metal band from Australia. This is their second album.

This is modern, sophisticated death metal with haunting atmospherics that accompany the relentless brutality. With a science fiction theme that provides an overarching story for the album, Aversions Crown spend 50 minutes telling a brutal and engaging tale. Continue reading

Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience (Review)

AllegaeonThis is the fourth album from US death metallers Allegaeon.

This is an ambitious, epic release; 72 minutes of science fiction-themed grandeur and technical aggression.

The band’s music is technical, melodic death metal that features a lot of engaging content and some quite virtuoso playing. For a band like this, the level of technicality on display is always going to be high, but Allegaeon never Continue reading

Carnifex – Slow Death (Review)

CarnifexThis is the sixth album from Carnifex, a US death metal band.

Carnifex play modern/melodic death metal with elements of deathcore and added orchestration.

I’m not overly familiar with Carnifex, having only listened to one of their previous albums – their 2008 release The Diseased and the Poisoned; this was an okay album, but nothing particularly special, so I was not prepared at all for how far they’ve come in the last 8 years. Slow Death is light years ahead of that release, so much so it’s almost like listening to Continue reading

Omnicide – Constants and Variables (Review)

OmnicideThis is the second album from this Swiss death metal band.

This is 34 minutes of modern death metal that effectively combines speed and groove.

Cannibal Corpse-esque riffs mix with elements of deathcore and bands like The Kennedy Veil and Origin, as well as sprinklings of thrash metal here and there. The resultant music sounds like none of the above bands too much, although you can hear where their influences come from. That the band can clearly acknowledge Continue reading

Cult of Lilith – Arkanum (Review)

Cult of LilithCult of Lilith are a Death Metal band from Iceland. This is their début EP.

Cult of Lilith play their Death Metal with muscularity, power and no little technical flair. Their style combines influences from both classic Death Metal and the more modern variants; this has equal respect for Death as it does The Faceless.

Melodic influences raise their heads in places, done in a thoroughly modern style, (not a million miles away from that of The Faceless). There’s even a touch of a Black Metal influence here and there, as well as a decent amount of technicality that both Gorguts and Death fans would be pleased with.

Deep growling shouts are the singer’s weapon of choice, although these are backed up with some quite savage screams where necessary.

These are quite involved songs that have a fair bit going on, but the band still know when to ease off the complexity and just go straight for the throat with a blasting assault when they need to. There’s a lot of good ideas and interesting added extras on these tracks and it’s clear that Cult of Lilith have high ambition for themselves.

A very promising start for this new band. I look forward to what they do next.

Sanzu – Heavy over the Home (Review)

SanzuThis is the début album from Australian Modern Progressive Death Metallers Sanzu.

We’ve met Sanzu’s Gojira/Morbid Angel-inspired work before on their Painless EP, where they proved themselves to be an energetic and highly-promising addition to the world of Extreme Metal.

On Heavy over the Home Sanzu continue to develop their influences into something even more personable than previously. Although you can still readily identify the Gojira in their sound, for example, they’ve taken ownership of this even more than on their EP and Heavy over the Home is a force to be reckoned with.

It’s also a heavy force, as I suspect this word is used deliberately in the album title. Sanzu do heavy very well indeed. It’s hard to do your own thing when heavily influenced, (pun intended…), by such a recognisably distinctive band such as Gojira, but Sanzu have risen to the challenge by embracing their Morbid Angel-esque Death Metal side even further on this release, meaning that we end up with a kind of Gojira-gone-Death-Metal sort of album. This accomplishes two things; it allows the band to go their own way and make their sound much more their own, and also it sounds absolutely great.

Twisting, rolling rhythms and punishing grooves seem to trample and flatten from above, and the band’s melodic sensibilities, developed though they are, seem utterly incapable of blunting this crushing heaviosity. We wouldn’t have it any other way, of course.

The 45 minutes of music on this album allow the band to spread their wings and develop much further than on their first EP, and it’s very pleasing to see Sanzu metamorphosing into something more than their influences, something they can be proud to call their own.

In an utterly crushing display of super-heavy Death Metal, Sanzu destroy the opposition with ease and leave us with a top-quality album to enjoy in the smouldering ruins of what came before.

I’ll be playing this on heavy rotation from now on, that’s for sure. I advise you do too.

Manipulation – Ecstasy (Review)

ManipulationManipulation are a Polish Death Metal band and this is their third album.

Manipulation play muscular Modern Death Metal with plenty of attack and some interesting twists to the standard formula.

Blast beats and chugging mid-paced carnage are the order of the day, but the band also throw in some unexpected atmospheric moments throughout, via the inclusion of melodic guitars, subtle keyboards, choral-like cleans, etc.

Add to this experimentalism some ultra-modern riffs and Deathcore influences and you have 44 minutes of engaging Extreme Metal, the likes of which Poland always seems to do so well.

The songs are well-written and, as mentioned previously, Manipulation aren’t afraid to experiment or try new things, which is great to hear. This edge of Progressive Metal is buried within their core sound, but really does add to their delivery. When these elements mix with blasting extremity or heavy grooves it all comes together very nicely indeed.

The vocalist has a passionate and dynamic growl that fits the music well, giving them the Death Metal anchoring they need as well as enough variety to move beyond this and into more emphatic territories.

Energetic brutality with a playful spin on the genre; this is really, really impressive.

Highly recommended.

For fans of Thy Art Is Murder, Aborted, All Shall Perish, Cryptopsy, Gorod, Molotov Solution, Whitechapel, etc.