This is the sixth album from Usurper, a death/thrash/black metal band from the US. Continue reading
This is the sixth album from Usurper, a death/thrash/black metal band from the US. Continue reading
This is solid old-school Death Metal that takes additional influence from older Metal and proto-Black Metal, making for a well-rounded release that creates its own atmosphere and character with ease.
Snatches of melody appear here and there in the leads and solos; played well and thoughtfully constructed, they add colour and feeling to the otherwise heavy old-school thrashings that the band produce. I love me some good soloing and there are some real crackers on here.
The first track starts in a very unexpected fashion, with darkly melodic Doom riffing and clean female vocals that sound quite ritualistic. It’s a bold start to the album and when the song starts “proper” it doesn’t disappoint.
Calling Black Magic Fire Death Metal is a bit of a disservice in a way, as there’s a lot more going on here than just a straight ahead Death Metal album. Bringing to mind a mix of bands like Usurper, Venom, The Meads of Asphodel, Cathedral, Celtic Frost, Gravehill, Black Sabbath and Dismember this is a strong release that captures an occult feeling and channels it through a Heavy Metal core with a Death Metal exterior.
The band have that Old-School Death Metal style going on but there’s also more than enough Classic, Heavy and Doom Metal touches/riffs to go around. This means that the album is incredibly well-rounded and complete. Back this up with a set of very solid songs and you have an album that is extremely impressive in nature.
When I mentioned The Meads of Asphodel earlier it was because I hear echoes of this band in the vocal department and the vocal patterns/rhythms; Crucifyre have the same talent for catchy rhythms and Blackened shout/growls that have a similar character and personality. Semi-clean vocals even make an appearance and these are just great.
Albums like this are more than just one style; this release has a plethora of weapons with which to ensnare the listener and hook them in. The brutality is rhythmic and this is very song-oriented so that each track has an actual identity rather than just taking up space. The personality and character of the vocals spills over to the music as well and the passion and fervour of the band for all things Metal is never in doubt.
This passion is backed up by talent though and they ably pull off everything they try, whether this is the cleaner sections, the ugly brutality, the catchy songs, organs, sound effects, impressive solos or the female enhancement; it’s all performed and delivered at a masterly level.
There’s enough here to appeal to almost any Metal fan. This is Metal as it should be done. I love it.
The first thing you notice is the granite-heavy sound and the utter crushing demolition job that goes along with it.
The songs are mainly fast and pounding but they also have good taste in their choice of slower riffs. This is quality Metal that’s pretty much half-Black and half-Thrash with an extra helping of Metal.
Chock full to bursting of Old-School riffery with a vague Punk air; these are class songs that know they’re good and can afford to have a cocky swagger about them.
The vocals have a lot of character and individuality. Think of singers such as those of Celtic Frost, Venom, Usurper, Cathedral, et al who manage to infuse their voices with both aggression and personality; the singer of Voidhanger is of their ilk, and it really works wonders.
This is a quality Metal album with a crushing sound that’ll have you reaching for the bulletbelt and spikes faster than you can say “blastbeat”.
After a perfunctory intro we’re into the album proper. The first thing that strikes the listener is the powerful sound – thick, heavy guitars and drums that drop like a hammer. This band play filth-heavy Death Metal with an atmosphere and tone so covered in grime and dirt as to become one with it.
So adept at channelling all things Necro are they that most underground Black Metal bands would kill for this sound. Imagine a band like Anaal Nathrakh if The Codex Necro was diseased Death Metal instead of Black Metal.
Add to this some nice Incantation-isms; the odd dash of Obituary and Autopsy; a small sprinkling of Usurper; an injection of sludge; cover this all with a rotten layer of offal and leave to decay for 100 years and you have something close to what Church of Disgust resemble.
And the vocalist – what’s all that about? How did the band manage to convince a real demon to front the band? I mean, it’s not a human being right? I can only assume that the Unworldly Summoning was a success and something dark and evil that time forgot came slithering out of the dankest crypt to be held in thrall to Church of Disgust and do their bidding. Their bidding, of course, being to produce the sickest, most evil Death Metal noises heard for some time. I just hope they feed it regularly.
Unworldly Summoning is ugly, hostile and wants everything dead. In other words it is one of the best death metal releases heard in a while.
If you want the latest in clinical, state-of-the-art, precision-laser-produced Death Metal hot off the production line then this is not for you. If, however, you’re not scared of a bit of blood and muck on your Death Metal then there is nothing to not like here.
Bones play a simple but very effective brand of no-nonsense Death Metal/Crust which can be heard on their recently released album Sons of Sleaze. I’ve enjoyed listening to this album and have loved their previous work in Usurper, so when the opportunity arose to ask them a few questions I dived in.
For people who are new to the band – introduce Bones!
Sure. Bones is a filthy metal band from Chicago. Our lineup is: Joe Warlord-Drums, Carcass Chris-Guitars/Vox and Jon Necromancer-Bass/Vox. We’re a newer band that formed in ‘09, but we’ve been around forever. All 3 of us have been in Usurper together back in the ‘90s-’00s. We play raw, unpolished metal. We’re not interested in sounding “perfect” or “clean”. We feel that Metal has lost its balls over the years. Now bands spend way too much money to make a studio perfect album that sounds stale, wimpy and terribly boring. Bones is the exact opposite of all that shit.
What are your main influences?
As a band we’re influenced by all the great metal and hard rock that mostly came out from the 70s-90s. I think it’s our individual influences that make Bones sound the way that we do. Joe is way into great drummers like Keith Moon, Dave Lombardo, Neil Peart, etc, while Chris is influenced by guitar greats like Eddie Van Halen, Uli Jon Roth, Kirk Hammett, and he’s a huge Carlos Cavazo fan. I’m way into Dee Dee Ramone, Cliff Burton, Martin Ain, and John Entwistle. Its the weird tension from combining all these influences that make us tick.
What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?
Ptahil’s “Almighty Propagator of Doom and Despair” has been stuck in my stereo for awhile. Super weird metal from Indiana/Michigan. The shit is brilliant and needs be heard to be believed. They’re even better live. Also, Autopsy’s “Headless Ritual” is fucking killer. Love it when a veteran band like Autopsy can make it seem so effortless to continue making such mindfucking, influential metal. Both these bands make pure music not influenced by image or marketing.
Your songs have a savage feeling that’s mixed with a sheer enjoyment of all things Metal. How did you create the songs?
We work together on everything. Usually one person comes up with a couple riffs that go together or have a rough idea of a concept. We rehearse often, so we bring our ideas up while they’re fresh and then we start working the problem; coming up with the nuts and bolts of arrangement, whatever. We usually have 3 very different ideas and we argue them out over a couple of weeks until we got it nailed down. Same with lyrics. It’s easier when 1 person does everything and writes everything, but we think this way the end result sounds better. It takes longer but its worth it.
Your album has a very raw and nasty sound – how much of this was deliberate and how much was chance?
Well, its what we sound like. When the band formed we all wanted a break from the formula of signing with a “big” underground label and spending too much time or money in the studio. The last albums we did in Usurper were like that. We were signed to Earache who were giving us $10,000 budgets to go in the studio for weeks and create something that didn’t really represent us. By the time a band is done multitracking and quantizing and autotuning everything you’re not left with anything real. With Bones we decided right away that we never wanted to be in that situation again. We recorded the drums, guitars and bass live. We only took a couple of takes for each song. Both of our albums were done like this. We didn’t do any multitracking or doubling of parts. What you hear is what we sound like at a show or at a rehearsal.
The feeling of the album is very much one of “I don’t care, I’m playing my songs my way”, (as it should be). How do you feel you fit into the wider Metal scene?
We don’t care how we “fit” in the scene. We never did before, and at this advanced age we could really give two shits. “Scene” people are usually “lame” people.
On Sons of Sleaze you covered Fear of Napalm by Terrorizer – how did you decide to cover this particular band/song?
We usually mess around at practice with cover songs. Its hilarious sometimes, but there are always a couple of songs that everyone intuitively knows how to play like “Black Magic” by Slayer or something. We were messing around with different songs as a joke, but we kept coming back to “Fear of Napalm”. We played it with a nice groove and we thought our version sounded enough like Bones, but still stayed true to the original. We thought we’d record it when we were in the studio for “Sons of Sleaze” and see if it would make the cut with the rest of the songs. We liked the way it came out so we included it on the album.
What are your plans for the future?
As soon as I send this out I’m walking to the liquor store and then picking up a pizza…..