Septic Flesh – Codex Omega (Review)

Septic FleshSeptic Flesh are a symphonic death metal band from Greece and this is their tenth album.

A new release from Septic Flesh is always something to get a lot more excited about than that of your average band. Make no mistake either; this is definitely worth getting excited about.

Here’s a band that seems to be going from strength to strength for the last decade or so, and Codex Omega is another top-quality addition to their discography. Continue reading

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Divine Element – Thaurachs of Borsu (Review)

Divine ElementDivine Element are an international black/death metal band. This is their second album.

This is quite a varied release that essentially boils down to about 40 minutes of epic extreme metal.

The music takes Continue reading

Ophidian Spell – Nux/Hêmera (Review)

Ophidian SpellOphidian Spell are a symphonic/melodic death metal band from France and this is their debut album.

Combining aspects of melodic, progressive and symphonic death metal into their delivery, Ophidian Spell offer up the listener a modern blend of these various influences. I can hear aspects of The Faceless, Devin Townsend, In Flames, Emperor/Ihsahn, Ne Obliviscaris, Delain and Septic Flesh in the mix, along with some others. Continue reading

Enthean – Priests of Annihilation (Review)

EntheanEnthean are from the US and this is their début album. They play Black Metal.

This is progressive, technical and symphonic Black/Death Metal. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but then this is a band who have a lot of different influences. I hear bands like Zyklon, Dissection, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Septic Flesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse in their sound.

Continue reading

Demonstealer – This Burden Is Mine (Review)

DemonstealerThis is the second album from Indian Extreme Metal band Demonstealer.

This is a very ambitious album. Across 9 tracks the band deliver 57 minutes of music that straddles Death, Black, Thrash, Progressive and Atmospheric Metal to deliver an epic journey.

Recognisably Death Metal at their core, Demonstealer skilfully incorporate the above-mentioned aspects into their sound so that we have something that the likes of Nile, Behemoth, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Septic Flesh, Opeth and other such envelope-pushing bands should be proud of.

This Burden Is Mine hops between genres with ease. One moment it might be all blasting and mayhem, while the next it may be soft, reflective and shamelessly progressive. And then you have the atmospheric, symphonic elements, where the keyboards get to shine and the emotive side of the band is ramped up to full capacity. The band also have a melodic flair that adds a lot to the tracks, with plenty of tasty leads and solos thrown into the mix.

Pure Death Metal growls are accentuated with a more varied delivery of screams, shouts, clean and semi-clean vocals, professionally done and perfectly judged. You’d easily think this album had more than one singer, rather than just one very talented vocalist.

Although this album is extremely diverse and varied, it carries a holistic cohesiveness with it that speaks of the quality songwriting and talent that the band are capable of. This Burden Is Mine is extremely impressive and a rich, evocative listen.

Well well. Albums like this don’t come along that often. This should be embraced and celebrated by all Metal fans as the tour de force that it is.

Essential.

Kataklysm/Septic Flesh/Aborted – Sound Control, Manchester – 19/02/16 (Live Review)

Kataklysm Septic Flesh Aborted 2016

When I first saw this tour advertised I couldn’t quite believe it, such a ridiculously strong lineup featuring three high-profile acts, any of which could probably headline here in their own right, at least to my mind. This is the very definition of an unmissable tour to me.

So here I am. It couldn’t be any other way. Continue reading

Casket Robbery – Evolution of Evil (Review)

Casket RobberyThis is the début album by US Death Metallers Casket Robbery.

Casket Robbery play rhythmic Death Metal with a modern/groove Metal influence. They successfully incorporate into their assault elements of Lamb of God and Pantera along with those of Aborted and Kataklysm , as well as mixing in some European Metal influences that allow the band to inject some extra melodic streaks into the tracks that actually remind me of Septic Flesh in places.

Although there’s a lot of mid-paced grooving there’s also enough speed used to keep things varied. The melodic aspect, although not a huge part of their sound, furnishes the songs with enough leads and solos to add another tasty flavour to the tracks.

This is a release that’s heavy and full of riffs. It’s so easy to get carried along with the beat that before you know it your body starts with the twitching and spasming and there’s nowt to be done about it. Hmm, not the best way to describe toe-tappingly-good is it, but you get the idea…

Vocally the singer has an unfriendly snarl that pitches him between a growl and a scream. It matches the rhythmic muscularity of the music and cuts nicely deep into the meat of the matter.

After 37 minutes, some catchy songwriting and some memorable brutality later, Evolution of Evil has left a good impression. The band have produced a very enjoyable album that stands up to repeated listens well and positively encourages them.

Recommended.

Sarpentra – Supernova (Review)

SarpentraThis is the début album from Russian Death Metal band Sarpentra.

If you think of bands such as Nile, Behemoth, Melechesh and Septic Flesh you’ll be on the right lines. This is aggressive, atmospheric and dark Death Metal that’s further enhanced by choirs, orchestration and operatic vocals.

The core of the band is fast and brutal, with deep growls and blast beats leading the way. This is tempered by the atmospheric side of the band, which reins in the brutality, (or tries to), so that the band’s grander and more cinematic side can come to the fore.

The technical brutality of the band blurs by as they indulge their atmospheric side and the two taken together merge into something really special. They may not be the first band to play this style but they sound like they’re doing it on steroids. While some Death Metal bands dabble in their Classical components, here they’ve been taken to the nth degree. It’s as if Therion had created reinterpretations of Nile songs and then asked Behemoth to perform them.

These are songs that have real presence to them. It’s undeniable. There are so many stand-out moments on this album that it’s hard to credit. The lightning-speed playing combined with the exotic melodies and the orchestral bombast…it’s a heady mixture and Supernova is nothing if not ambitious.

A lot of hard work has clearly gone into writing and recording these songs and it’s all paid off handsomely. This is an album that feels like a tour of a strange new land, one that’s ripe with danger but worth exploring nonetheless.

Very impressive and very, very good. Make this a high priority listen.

Soulskinner – Crypts of Ancient Wisdom (Review)

SoulskinnerThis is the third album from Greek Death Metal band Soulskinner.

Soulskinner play Old-School Death Metal with plenty of heaviness and atmosphere.

Very early on the band establish that they are extremely proficient at recreating that raw, elemental feeling that you used to get when you were first getting into Death Metal and you were discovering new things all of the time; Soulskinner delve back into that bygone era when Death Metal was young and vibrant and it’s a joy to hear it.

The album is aptly named as it seems as if the band have discovered a crypt of ancient Death Metal know-how and the songs here strike an immediate chord with the listener. This is primal, atavistic Death Metal at its best, recalling the very early days of bands like Bolt Thrower, Entombed, Gorefest, Grave, Hypocrisy, Septic Flesh, Asphyx, etc.

The songs are full of graveyard atmosphere, rotting brutality and ancient intelligence. Quality riffs are thrown around like they’re going out of fashion and the level of songwriting skill is through the roof.

I love the small, but important, little details they add in. Whether this is a riff here, a drum fill there, a small piano part here, a malevolent melody there…it all adds up and these songs are just great.

This is a exceptional collection of songs. Fantastic riffs and occult melodies combine to create atmospherically brutal tracks of classic Death Metal.

As is fitting for a band like this, the vocals are flawless; deep, guttural, cavernous growls that sound inhuman and timeless.

It’s very easy to get bored of Old-School bands who just want to relive the past but add nothing to it. Soulskinner are different though, as they seem more like forgotten relics from a time gone past that have recently been unearthed to spread their plague anew. It may be old and rotten but it’s still as fresh as the dawn of the scene.

A very highly recommended listen. Soulskinner will rekindle your love of probably the first Extreme Metal genre you ever got into.