Ara – Devourer of Worlds (Review)

AraThis is the début album from Technical Death Metal band Ara.

This is Technical Death Metal with plenty of brutality. They may have the required complexity of a band playing this style but they’re not above just lashing out and shredding either.

A good sound means that everything is clear and you can appreciate the tightness of the band. The musicianship is a pleasure to listen to, especially when it’s wrapped up in such a destructive Death Metal package.

The singer has an expressive roar that reminds me of a mix of the singers of Malevolent Creation and Vader. He provides a charismatic focal point for the glistening, polished music.

Complicated riffs seem to lurk just behind the omnipresent drums, winding and striking with impunity. This might not be music that you can easily hum along to but it gets inside your skull regardless. Who knows what damage it’s doing in there?

Even when they take their collective feet off the accelerator they still write interesting riffs that refuse to sit still.

If you yearn for the kind of Technical Death Metal that the likes of Iniquity used to churn out then Ara will be right up your street.

Highly recommended.

Deserted Fear – Kingdom of Worms (Review)

Deserted FearThis is the second album from German Death Metallers Deserted Fear.

Deserted Fear sound absolutely huge. Their sound is crisp, punchy and as solid as a slab of granite. They play a blend of Classic and Modern Death Metal which sees them taking the best from the old and new to create songs that are brutal but not just for the sake of it.

Here we have a band who remember the importance of actual songs. Remember those? The tracks on this album are full of hooks, catchy melodies and memorable riffs.

The musicianship is first class and the band know how to translate good songwriting into results.

The riffs rumble along like a steamroller. The band combine aspects of Swedish Death Metal, Bolt Thrower, Vader and more modern influences to create their trademark sound.

The combination of chunky rhythm guitars and more melodic leads work well together and bring out the Swedish influence in their sound. A mid-paced assault shows their Bolt Thrower influence and the faster sections have more of a Vader edge to them. All of this is wrapped in a state-of-the-art production.

The vocalist knows his stuff and uses his voice to beat and batter the listener into submission before the crushing music deals the deathblow.

Kingdom of Worms is a solid album of destructive Death Metal that could happily sit in any Metal fan’s collection.

Try them out today.

Infest – Cold Blood War (Review)

InfestThis is the fourth album from Serbian Death/Thrash Metal band Infest.

After a perfunctory intro the first track Destroyer of Their Throne starts up and I am momentarily confused – have I accidentally put on a Vader album instead of Infest? I over-exaggerate, (slightly), but the similarity, mainly in the vocal department, is startling.

Infest are not Vader clones of course. Musically they have other tricks up their collective sleeves and these conspire to create an enjoyable Metal experience lasting just under 30 minutes.

It’s an entertaining and speedy collection of Thrash-tinged Death Metal tracks that, yes, takes cues from Vader but also has some almost Hardcore influenced crossover riffs. I hear a bit of Pro-Pain to some of the chuggy guitars on occasion, as well as some Face Down-style Thrash and a bit of Malevolent Creation.

The production is strong and the bass is clear. The songs have a hard metallic sheen to them that accentuates their unyielding nature. They have a very immediate sound and always seem like they’re trying to get through the songs faster than they’re actually played, (if that makes any sense…?); there’s a sense of urgency to the album that gives it a vibrancy and life that some bands lack.

Good songs, good Metal. Hard, fast and straight to the point. I like.

Exhumation – Hymn to Your God (Review)

ExhumationExhumation are an Indonesian Death Metal band who are just releasing their 2012 album Hymn to Your God worldwide.

This is the kind of Death Metal that won’t settle for being primitive but is not interested in scaling the technical heights; what we have here is intelligent compositions that are well-thought out assaults on the senses.

Mixing base elements of Vader, Behemoth and Morbid Angel, Exhumation have crafted an album that is melodic, brutal and well-placed to cater to Death Metal fans who want something a bit more then just sheer heaviness or chaotic mayhem in their music.

They proffer us 7 tracks, (6 original, 1 Blasphemy cover), across 29 minutes and we eagerly accept their dark boon.

The music is tight and proficient overall. The guitars are flawlessly played, and there are some meaty solos to get your teeth into. The drums are positively inhuman and relentless in their battery. Vocally the grunts that issue forth are not as deep as many Death Metal bands but more in keeping with the Behemoth/Vader variety.

A class album that deserves plenty of attention now it’s available everywhere. Do yourself a favour and get in on the action.

Tortharry – Follow (Review)

TortharryThis is the eighth album by these Czech Death Metal veterans.

Holy Hell this is good! The first thing you notice is the huge crushing sound. The album sounds absolutely immense. All instruments are clear and the bass is even audible.

There are some hellishly good riffs on this release. From the faster ones to the more devastating slower chugs; by now the band have honed their craft and know how to write a good song. The sense of dynamics and explosive force is strong, with the band doing their utmost to ensure every song is as complete a package as possible.

The vocals brings to mind the singer of Vader; Tortharry’s vocalist has the same kind of clipped growl that has an economy of delivery while remaining as brutal as possible.

After eight albums I have no idea why Tortharry aren’t better known than they are. If their other releases are as tasty as this one then it’s a massive shame that they don’t have a higher profile. They have the sound and songs to challenge the best that the genre has to offer.

After listening to this impressive collection of songs this is definitely a band I am happy to follow.

Samples can be heard here.

Suffering Hour – Foreseeing Exemptions to a Dismal Beyond (Review)

Suffering HourSuffering Hour are from the US and play high-energy Old-School Death Metal with elements of Thrash and even a tiny bit of Black Metal straight out of the Venom school.

Immediately from the first song Truths of the Unknown it’s clear that the band give their all to the music and they have plenty of ideas they want to include in their songs as well.

The riffs and melodies used are interesting and not simply genre-rehashing; and the variety of musical influences, (Vader, Morbid Angel, to name just two), that can be heard mean the songs hold interest with ease and before you know it the 29 minute running time is over.

The songs are written well with a good grasp of structure and pace. The tracks vary in length from the relatively short to the longer 8:35 of Enthralled in Lunacy Abyss, which shows that Suffering Hour are not afraid to do what they want and play the kind of Death Metal that pleases them without pandering to anyone else. As it should be.

The vocals are top quality and range from screams to deep growls, with plenty of range shown between the two.

They also have an instrumental song named Prog Thrashing Death which does exactly what it says on the tin.

The production is generally competent and has a very organic sound, however I feel it’s slightly uneven in places and could do with being slightly stronger for their next release. This is only a minor quibble though as it does the job well enough.

The quality and breadth of content in these songs should be envied by most Metal bands and this EP is a huge success for me. For such a young band to have found their musical footing so early on and produced a quality EP with such personality and individuality is a wonderful thing.

This really is fantastic. Support this band as they could go far in the world of Extreme Metal.