Misery Index – Rituals of Power (Review)

Misery Index - Rituals of PowerMisery Index are a death metal band from the US and this is their sixth album.

Playing furiously brutal death metal with aspects of grindcore added for savage flavour, Rituals of Power contains 36 minutes of raging aggression. Continue reading

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Atrocity – Okkult II (Review)

AtrocityThis is the tenth album from German death metallers Atrocity.

Atrocity have had a varied career, with probably as many different incarnations and eras to their name as Paradise Lost. Okkult II finds the band in one of their darker, more brutal moods. Continue reading

Horrendous – Anareta (Review)

HorrendousHorrendous are a US Death Metal band and this is their third album.

Playing Old-School/Traditional Death Metal, this is the follow-up to 2014’s impressive Ecdysis.

Following on from this previous release, Horrendous continue to offer a well-rounded Death Metal package, full of interesting riffs, decent melodies, intricate solos and actual well-thought-out songs.

Their approach to the material is refreshing, even given the Old-School nature of the music; it’s recognisable as instantly Old-School Death Metal but it doesn’t sound dated at all. Horrendous are one of the few bands that play this style who are trying to move it forwards rather than just wallowing in what was released decades ago.

There’s something deeply satisfying about this music. It demonstrates a band who are able to compose songs that have a lot of depth and atmosphere without ever devolving into filler-esque extremity or retro-parody. Horrendous have well and truly stamped their own personality and vision on a well-worn style.

Once again, the recording is warm and seems to pulsate with life. One of the things I enjoyed on Ecdysis was that you could hear the bass and on Anareta this is still the case.

The singer’s voice is still a pleasing mix of Obituary/Morbid Angel and he spends his time on Anareta providing a compelling focal point for the music.

On this latest album Horrendous demonstrate why they are quite rightly lauded as one of the best when it comes to this type of Death Metal. As much as I enjoyed Ecdysis I think on this latest album they’ve upped their game even more.

Impressive and essential.

Sarpanitum – Blessed Be My Brothers… (Review)

SarpanitumSarpanitum are a UK Death Metal band and this is their second album.

Sarpanitum take a three-pronged approach to their Death Metal that combines traditional Death Metal, melodic atmospheres and a touch of Black Metal’s heart of darkness.

The band’s melodic edge is a sharp one and it’s incorporated directly into their heaviness rather than seeming like an addition to it as is frequently the case with other bands that combine brutality and melodics.

Added keyboard sounds subtly enhance this already keen melodic sensibility they have and I really like the sense of atmospheric brutality that they create. There’s a Middle Eastern feel to a lot of the melodies that adds an exotic touch to the songs, as well as no small amount of epic grandeur.

The vocals are as dark as night; thick, deep, malevolent growls that are so low as to be akin to rumbling thunder.

Blessed Be My Brothers… has a thick, dense sound that’s uncompromising and combined with the band’s complicated riffing is impenetrable to the casual listener. This is Death Metal for real Death Metal fans who want something a bit more interesting than the standard generic fare.

Fans of Nile, Mithras, Lelahell, Gorguts, Morbid Angel, Sidious and Dying Out Flame should love this.

Highly recommended.

Horrendous – Ecdysis (Review)

HorrendousThis is the second album from US Death Metal band Horrendous.

Firstly; what an album cover! Top marks for that for a start.

But what of the music? Horrendous play Traditional/Old-School Death Metal with a good bit of the Swedish style chucked in, although they are certainly not limited to this one particular subgenre. Their style is a wider one that encompasses pretty much all of the Classic/Traditional/Old-School Death Metal sounds and delivers them wrapped in entrails as a horrendous, (heh), package of delights for the listener to chew on.

Good riffs and good melodies are apparent from the off; this is band that knows how to rip your face off but also knows how to show restraint and take the slower, more considered route to its slaughter. Some of the guitar leads and solos on this release are sublime, enough to take your breath away. There really are some impressive moments here.

A warm, organic sound means you can almost feel the breathing of the Metal as it clobbers you to death. Even the bass is audible. The guitars have a bit of That Swedish Sound, but not oppressively so. Instead the whole thing has a Classic Death Metal stomp.

The vocalist falls somewhere between an Obituary and a Covenant-era Morbid Angel style. He has a relatively varied voice as he ranges deeper or higher than his core voice as necessary.

The songs chug and churn, flatten and demolish their way through the 44 minutes playing time with the confidence of a killer and the talent of a professional. These are diverse and dynamic songs with strong songwriting clearly stamped all over them in a big, bloody mess.

This is an album that every fan of Death Metal should get their greasy mitts on. Play loud and play repeatedly.

Death Vomit – Gutted by Horrors (Review)

Death VomitDeath Vomit are from Chile and this is their début album. They play Death Metal.

Now that’s what you call a band logo!

This is brutal underground Death Metal played in the Old-School style.

As would be expected from a band named Death Vomit, the music is ugly and unrepentant. It’s filled with malevolent riffing and hateful drums. Savage vocals echo with the afterthought of torture and bloody carnage.

These tracks have a primitive presence; they have an almost atavistic existence as paragons of raw, underground Death Metal as was. Death Vomit play the kind of timeless, Classic Death Metal that no matter what mood you’re in it can’t help but raise a rictus grin to your face.

The songs are strongly written and it’s hard not to enjoy them as they’re so earnestly and honestly played.

If you’re looking for the latest, newest thing then this is not for you; here we have Traditional Death Metal that could honestly have come from almost any era. Suffice to say that it’s good and that’s all that matters.

Play them loud.

Morbo – Addiction to Musickal Dissection (Review)

MorboMorbo are from Italy and this is their Death Metal début album.

Born in the Death Metal underworld, the sickening, diseased hulk that is Morbo has slowly been crawling and scratching its way towards the light for some time. It’s now finally ready to burst through in sprays of ichor and gore.

They embody belligerent Death Metal that is uncaring of what anyone thinks of them but still retains a surprising amount of festering melody and an ear for a good riff.

This is played in the classic style, where songs mattered and a good chorus or catchy verse was more important than speed-for-the-sake-of-it or ultra-technicality.

The sound is strong but not over-produced, and you can even hear what the bass is doing. It retains legibility and coherence whether the band play blast beats or whether they are playing crushing mid-paced riff-monsters.

The songs have character, propelled by the vocals that have the same kind of gravitas as those from the classic era where you immediately had your attention held by the sheer force of the singer’s will.

So listen to Addiction to Musickal Dissection and get swept up in the riffs and the general foetid aura of traditional Death Metal played with passion, integrity and an aura of pure sickness.