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  • Cokegoat - " Vessel " 1cd 2013 (USA)

    The Path Less Traveled Records
    Chicago used to have a small but decent death metal scene back in the day, before the hipster and black metal crowds took over. Cokegoat are five bearded stoners and some girl you never heard of trying their fucken hand at stoner/doom metal, cos the world needed one more band like that. For fucken reals. Thankfully Cokegoat is lots better than all that stupid occult rock we’re getting so fucken much of these days. But not by much. Despite what the label might tell you, this sounds about, like, every other band in this genre right now, but I’m probably the only fucken one pointing it out to you assholes. ‘Buried In the City’ opens with a colossal riff that is equal parts Black Sabbath as it High On Fire (back when they were still good, and not high on suck). Oh yeah, this band has three guitarists, not that you’ll ever notice it, but the press leaflet can’t apparently get enough of that. Sure, this is pretty tolerable stuff, but when you heard “The Art Of Self Defense” and any of Neurosis’ early folky material, but you get more there than you’re getting here. Actually now that I fucken think about it, this isn’t all that different from that Drawers album I reviewed last week. Fuck, no. Maybe Drawers is a bit more uptempo, but that’s about it. “Vessel” isn’t particular bad, or offensively awful – but in a genre as fucken trendy and popular as stoner/doom metal, you need a lot more than some girl in your band, or some stupid gimmick to stand out. Everybody is fucken ripping off Black Sabbath and early High On Fire cos that’s the easiest thing to do. For fuck’s sake, try harder already. I am so fucken done with this genre right now. Sure, you emptied a keg of fucken beer, and smoked a ton of ganja when you were fucken writing this album – who gives a flying fuck?! Exactly how much more of this shit do we need? What was the game plan here, fellas? Selling ten copies, and then collectively forget that you released a stupid record? By fucken Odin, I can tolerate a lot of crap, but this is pushing it. I’m not nearly drunk enough to find this enjoyable, or funny – and I could be doing better stuff right now. Like getting insanely and obscenely drunk, or messaging some internet model. Anything but suffer through your interchangeable, redundant record. Congratulations, you were high on day, and recorded an album. Don’t expect me to fucken pat you on the back for a job well done. “Vessel” is okay, but this shit ain’t funny no more. That isn’t to say I fucken hate this record. It’s just very, very unnecessary, and a waste of time for anybody with a functional brain, or the least bit of taste. You wrote a good record, I’m impressed. Now leave me the fuck alone. Fuck you! http://www.cokegoat.com; www.facebook.com/Cokegoat comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 6
  • Deadly Carnage - " Manthe " 3cd 2014 (Italy)

    My Dying Bride was actually relevant and good once. Long ago. You know, in the early 90s. “As the Flower Withers” and “Turn Loose the Swans” and shit. I know that’s hard to believe these days. Probably right now Hammy is putting together yet another compilation of My Dying Bride stuff that nobody in right mind wanted. Holy crap, these Italians must have thought the same. Apparently these Italians play “black metal with doom metal influences”, yet musically this is clearly fucken inspired by respected funeral orchestras as diSEMBOWELMENT, early Evoken and a good dose of My Dying Bride’s earlier romantic material. The tortured and agonized vocals are especially powerful. They combine the agonized emotion of Darren White (ex-Anathema) with a hoarse shout. Thank fucken Odin that these pasta-eaters bothered with a good bass-heavy production cos this genre relies heavily on its melodic and atmospheric nuances, both which Deadly Carnage has. Oh sure, the moniker sounds like a really fucken awful 90s death metal band, but “Manthe” is actually surprisingly decent. Where the whole black metal shtick is supposed to come from I will never know, but I stopped reading press leaflets ages ago (as should you). Occasionally the band will play a bit faster, but to classify it as black metal for that is all sorts of stupid. What these guys are so fucken depressed for I dunno. Somehow this reminds me a fucken lot of Alastis (in terms of atmosphere), probably mostly cos of the vocals. Deadly Carnage is really fucken superior to Alastis in every conceiveable way, and those of you who were conscious or not buried under a rock somewhere in the 90s will probably remember this band. They had, like, three good songs and Century Media (in their endless benevolence) pushed them to the max. Anyway, if you don’t mind the stupid band name, and the fact that the description these fruitcakes give their music, this is actually pretty good stuff considering the country it comes from. Geez, the Italian underground metal scene is pretty fucken terrible these days, but these sad sacks of shit at least have some kind of idea what they are doing. Which cannot be said about the countless beyond fucken shitty black metal bands, or those blast-first-write-songs-second death metal type bands that are so busy imitating Hour Of Penance and Fleshgod Apoca-pasta that they end up sounding even more retarded and juvenile than the average Comatose Music or Sevared Records signing. If you are in one of these bands, and considering right now to send me your promo: don’t. I’m not nearly drunk enough for this shit yet, and I could be doing better stuff right. Like talking to Vera Clinco, or dreaming about Armi Paivinen and her dress. Just fucken saying. http://www.deadlycarnage.altervista.org; www.facebook.com/pages/Deadly-Carnage/177263620271; www.atmf.net; www.facebook.com/aeternitas.tenebrarum comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 7
  • Loath - " Total Peace " 1cd 2013 (Finland)

    Inverse Records
    If there’s one thing I’ve fucken learned over the years of doing this whole music critic spiel is to never ever, under any circumstance, believe whatever clueless labels put in their press leaflets. Loath is from Finland, the land of Armi Päivinen, and Inverse Records (yeah, them, fuck you!) describes this band as “crust with a twist of grindcore and doom”. Now I have no fucken clue what drugs whoever wrote this was on at the time, but I’d like some of whatever the fuck it was he/she was having. Why? Cos the only thing I hear in “Total Peace” is the doom and the grindcore – wherever the crust is supposed to come from I dunno. Sure, the band plays faster occasionally, and the singer really goes nuts every once in a while, but does that make it crust? Hardly. Some of the riffs have that ancient hardcore/punk feel, but to label it crust for that is all sorts of fucken stupid. Oh sure, the singer totally sounds like old man Tompa Lindberg, and that’s the hot thing right now since At the Paycheck decided to reunite. That this is released on Inverse Records of all fucken things is the bigger enigma. Here I was fucken thinking that Inverse Records only signed the absolute fucken worst of the Finnish scene, and Loath is actually decent! Who the fuck knew… Why this is described as “crust with a twist of grindcore and doom” in the first place is a fucken headscratcher, cos this sounds like about every two bit piece of shit sludge/doom metal band on the scene right now. Put this in a playlist with Drawers and Cokegoat and you wouldn’t be able to tell the fucken difference between each. Not that Loath is fucken terrible, or anything – just redundant and unnecessary for the most part. Just another band that wants to be the next High On Fire, but at least Loath has the bright idea to do things a little differently. They use plenty of samples in their songs. What labels’ fascination with trends are I’ll never understand. Why do labels keep signing all these fucken sludge bands? Cos it’s the trendy thing to do right now, and you can easily sway a few hipsters and stupid kids into handing over their money? I can understand that, but that still doesn’t fucken justify it. So yeah, “Total Peace” isn’t exactly bad, but it isn’t exactly good either. It fucken exists and people can buy it if they are into that whole “support the underground” nonsense. I’d rather watch that catfight between Armi Päivinen and Veronika Toivokoski to be honest. I can tolerate this crap, but I’ll need more fucken alcohol if this is the direction we’re gonna in. Wake me up when all these stupid sludge bands died out. Unlike you I have better stuff to do. https://www.facebook.com/LOATHband; www.inverse.fi; www.facebook.com/inverserecords comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 6
  • Neglektum - " Blasphemer " 1cd 2014 (Sweden)

    Goathorned Productions
    Apparently people still can’t get enough of Dissection and Mayhem. Neglektum comes from Sweden, and that’s about everything you need to know. Never fucken mind that Lord Belial has been doing this spiel for two decades already, to varying success at that, so why a bunch of fucken nobodies felt the urge to form a band like this is a question for the fucken ages. I suppose this isn’t half bad, and it is about as solid as the next faceless, identityless Swedish black metal band you’re listening to right now. The melodic black metal movement is, at the very least, a decade past its prime – and all the pillars in this genre have either changed or split up – so what exactly Neglektum is trying to accomplish remains a fucken guess. In the track ‘Babalon’ the singer goes completely off the deep end. I’m not sure whether he’s having a particular fucken bowel movement, or that his meds ran out. Seriously, considering how fucken goofy the average black metal band is I wouldn’t be all that surprised if half of these guys end up having severe mental problems. Am I even supposed to, like, fucken take this band seriously? They named their album after a member from Mayhem. Metal’s fascination with overt homo-eroticism never ceases to amaze me. I suppose that’s all very evil and necro, and shit like that – but to anybody with a functional brain it comes about as very, well, dumb. So, yeah, this sounds like Mayhem, Dark Funeral and Marduk in the fast parts, and the slower more melodic numbers for the most part recall Dissection. This bands sounds like a lot of other bands that are just plainly better than them. So why anybody would want to waste time on listening to this band instead of the actual good ones is something I’ll never understand. Then again, I never fucken understood all that “support the underground!” nonsense that impressionable teens keep yapping on about. Pressing the “like” button on your fucken FaceBook profile is not support. Neither is downloading their album, asshat. For the three of you who are fucken dying to pick this up, I suppose you could do a lot worse when it comes to underground black metal. But I’m not the right person to fucken talk to about this shit anyway. I stopped taking black metal serious a long time ago, and by now I fucken hoped people would finally be over it. Black metal is not underground, rebellious or even important. For fuck’s sake, there are black metal commercials, documentaries, photoshoots, and more memes than there are nude pics of Tessa Fowler. If you truly believe black metal is still a niche genre, and not as mainstream as any other metal genre at this point, then you are really fucken delusional, and I hope there aren’t any sharp utensils around. “Blasphemer” sounds exactly like you think it does. Fuck you! http://www.neglektum.com; www.facebook.com/neglektum; www.goathorned.com; www.facebook.com/goathorned comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 5
  • Obituary - " Inked in Blood " 9cd 2014 (USA)

    Relapse Records
    For fuck’s sake, try harder already. Here we are more than a fucken decade into this piece of shit band’s reunion, and they still haven’t figured it out. I don’t care how much a “legend” you were back in the day, this band was at the end of its fucken creative rope by the time “The End Complete” was released. Holy fucken shit, dudes. You rake in this much fucken cash with your Kickstarter campaign, and you still have this absolutely fucken dreadful cardboard guitar tone, and empty bucket drums? Were Obituary ever good to begin with? I have a hard fucken time remembering that myself at this point. What I do know is that “Frozen In Time” was fucken terrible. “Xecutioner’s Return” was okay, and “Darkest Day” was about as pleasant as the combined discographies of Devourment and Mortician. Yuk! This is the first Obituary album since… I dunno, fucken “World Demise” to not be a ginormous eyesore. The universally awesome creature logo is still fucken missing, but it’s a start at least. However even with decent artwork post - “Back From the Dead” Obituary is still as awful and unnecessary as ever. They probably like “Dead Island: Riptide” too, and the latent homosexuality has never been more obvious. This band is fucken heavy, not so much cos of their music – but cos legendary fat ass Terry Butler is now replacing that other legendary fat ass Frank Watkins. Not that you’ll notice much of a fucken difference, cos this is Obituary who even at their brightest were still pretty fucken abysmal. So what is Obituary without meth head Allen West, Ralph ‘is your band hiring?’ Santolla and Frank Watkins? Pretty fucken awful, that’s what. John Tardy, master of bad song titles and general incoherence, never sounded worse, and his lamentable vocal performance here makes his haggard grunts and strained screams of the prior records sound acceptable in comparison. Seriously. Hang it up already, old man. Donald Tardy, the other half of the retarded fraternity, completely fucken phones in his drum performance with the laziest patterns this side of fucken Greg Gall (ex-Six Feet Under). Terry Butler does his usual shtick, playing the most impotent bass lines as long as there’s a fucken paycheck to be had. Dudes, seriously, I halfway expected Chris Barnes to do a guest vocal performance at one spot, but apparently they were smarter than that. Kenny Andrews does his best Allen West impression – and occasionally throws in a neat trick here and there, but even he can’t save this sinking ship. I’m not expecting Obituary to turn all fucken technical all of the sudden, but at least pretend you care at this point, fellas. This fucken shit is embarrassing enough as it is, and fucken phoned in slog like this isn’t helping your case – at all. Call it a day already, you fucken faggots. You’re not doing yourself any favors by fucken releasing more albums. http://www.relapse.com; www.facebook.com/ObituaryBand; www.obituary.cc comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 4
  • Narcotic Wasteland - " Narcotic Wasteland " 1cd 2014 (USA)

    I suppose it was fucken inevitable that Dallas Toler-Wade would eventually grow tired of playing second fiddle to Colonel Sanders. That metal attracts drug addicts, felons and criminals is old news – so what better than to combine the two? So yeah, Narcotic Wasteland is a death metal band from South Carolina that sings about substance abuse. How very fucken original… Is any of this shit supposed to be autobiographical and therapeutic? Anyway, the band consists of nobody you ever heard of, and it is actually pretty competent groovy bass-heavy death metal with dual vocals. It’s actually leagues fucken better than the last three Nile records, but that isn’t saying much. Those records were fucken awful and stupid. If you want to nitpick Toler-Wade’s vocals are more screamed grunts, and not nearly as deep as his earlier stuff with Colonel Sanders’ history project. The second vocalist/bassist is no Jon Vesano, but he sounds decent enough. No wonder they chose "Keeping Up with the Jones" as first single cos this sounds just like "Lashed To the Slave Stick" to my ears – but don’t take my fucken word for it. "Addicted to Junk" sounds a lot like "Execration Text" outside of that weird electronic solo. I don’t even know what the fuck that is supposed to be. A guitar-synth? An early Children Of Bodom-like keyboard solo? Fuck if I know… Of course there are samples to introduce some songs, and that practice is exactly as stupid and pointless as it was when the dumb bricks from Mortician introduced it in the 90s. I guess this is at least a change of pace for Dallas Toler-Wade, and I wouldn’t be fucken surprised if this is his excuse to pick his bags and leave Nile. Odin knows that band got really fucken annoying and stupid after their stint with hipster label Relapse Records. The production is really fucken sterile and plastic, so it’s up to today’s standards. Fuck, even that Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky record on Nuclear Blast sounds better. The drums don’t sound like a fucken typewriter and you can actually hear the bass guitar. Thank fucken Odin for that. The artwork is really fucken stupid, but for a band singing about drug abuse it could have been far worse. In actuality this is what HatePlow is to Malevolent Creation. Yeah. That. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. This is competent death metal, but nothing more. It has members from Nile, for fuck’s sake. Don’t expect to be wowed. Nile might be very fucken popular but that doesn’t mean shit to anybody with a functional brain. It has Dallas Toler-Wade. No label wanted to release it. Draw your own fucken conclusions. http://www.narcoticwasteland.com; www.facebook.com/narcoticwasteland comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 7
  • Nervosa - " Victim Of Yourself " 1cd 2014 (Brazil)

    Napalm Records
    No. Contrary to fucken popular belief I don’t hate thrash metal. The fact is just that a load of terrible fucken crap is released under the banner of retro-thrash metal. If you’re happy with some band just sounding like your favorite band, knock yourself out – but I fucken demand quality in my music. So after years and years of submediocre crap on piece of shit labels big and small, leave it to the Nervosa chicas to show how it is done. Fernanda, Prika and Picchu are pissed, and I can’t say I fucken blame them. There is so much shit released in this genre that I’m fucken pissed off too every time I get another review request. The album might not contain the super awesome ‘Masked Betrayer’ song like I hoped, but this shit just rocks, plain and simple. Yeah, the intro might sound like early Machine Head, but when the girls rip into the first track you know that it is fucken classic Slayer where its at. Fernanda Lira’s bass guitar is loud in the mix, and like Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris you can hear her pluck away at it. Picchu Ferraz is more the Bill Andrews type of drummer, but what she lacks in creative fills she makes up in sheer intensity. Holy crap, dudes. This chica can drum. Prika Amaral, when not dishing out super angry and tight vintage Slayer riffs, is solo’ing like Andreas Kisser when he was still relevant, say circa "Beneath the Remains"/"Arise". "Victim Of Yourself" of course features the chica’s hit single "Death!" (Picchu Ferraz even wears a Death shirt in the video) so she’s so meta it hurts. Holy shit, dudes. I wonder if Prika and Fernanda scream that way in the sack too cos they are all sorts of sexy in their leather get-ups and tight shirts. Hey, a guy can dream, right? These chicas make no illusions about what they are, or what their record is. Don’t ask me to tell you the difference between these cuts cos I couldn’t tell you if I fucken wanted. Nervosa only knows two speeds: fast and faster. Fernanda and Prika both share vocal duties, but Fernanda takes the lead and her rasps sound just like Schmier and Evil Chuck Schuldiner. By fucken Odin, and there are solos! Solos everywhere! I don’t care whether Prika Amaral is getting her Kerry King, Andreas Kisser or Chuck Schuldiner on – when she solos she’s on fire – and considering how fucken hot this chica is all by herself that’s saying something. The title track even has a bass guitar intro! Holy fucken shit. I can’t remember the last time I heard once of those. Sure, sure – these chicas don’t have English as their first language so there’s the usual butchery of Shakespeare’s language and some funny song titles here and there, but overall it’s pretty fucken minor stuff compared to some other releases in this genre. That last track even borders on death metal territory. So, yeah, "Victim Of Yourself" is completely fucken brutal, and more exciting than the combined discographies of Scampeltura and senor Kisser. This is the most exciting thing from Brazil since Roberta Murgo, Ariadne Souza (Valhalla) and Maysa Rodrigues. I don’t care what you assholes think. This rocks! http://www.nervosaofficial.com; www.facebook.com/femalethrash; www.napalmrecords.com comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 8
  • Panychida - " Grief For An Idol " 3cd 2013 (Czech Republic)

    Folter Records/Werewolf Productions/Paragon Records/Cursed Records
    When I fucken received the promo invitation for Panychida’s latest offering, I felt the sudden urge to take that long overdue nap as this band described itself as pagan metal. That is, along with folk and slam-death metal, my cue to take a nap and wait till those bands go away. Anyway, these ugly men are from the Czech Republic and apparently have released two albums prior to this one. You’d be hardpressed to call this pagan metal cos a lot of the times this sounds like heroic and dark sounding melodic death metal, but that may be me. I dunno. What I do fucken know is that these guys at least don’t sound fruity, and remember that metal is supposed to sound dark and threatening. By Odin, there are still bands who remember that. Who knew… Most of the time this just reminds me of that Hungarian band Effrontery, or, like, what the fuck ever they are called. ‘Wayfarer’s Awakening’ is actually the most typically folk/pagan metal track on this album, by far – and the second half of the album actually picks up the fucken pace in that regard. It is as if the band woke up from drunken stupor one day and realized they were supposed to be pagan metal, and thus wrote three songs in the style. I don’t blame you fucks, pagan metal is stupid and silly. Grown ass fucken men and women dressing up as Lord Of the Rings extras. So seek the LARPer within thyself, and all that shit. Whatever keeps you away from me is good enough. I’m not nearly drunk enough to think of something funnier. Fuck you! Lay down that bong for a minute, and listen up. It isn’t as if there’s any standard in folk/pagan metal to begin with – how the flying fuck do you assholes otherwise explain the continued existence of beyond fucken awful labels like Stygian Crypt Productions or the fact that Folkearth continues to release albums? Or more importantly: why hasn’t Hildr Valkyrie taken her top off yet? Whatever keeps her away from a microphone, or recording equipment. I used to remember a time when folk/pagan metal bands were far and few, and the few of them were actually really fucken good. Thankfully Panychida is leagues better than most modern day folk/pagan metal bands. Thank fucken Odin these guys don’t play polka metal, or drunk Viking music, or, like, what the fuck ever is popular with stupid kids and hipsters. "Grief For An Idol" is a solid record, you’ll like it. http://www.panychida.com; www.facebook.com/panychida; www.folter666.de; www.paragonrecords.org; www.cursedrecords.at; www.werewolfshop.cz comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 7
  • Primalfrost - " Prosperous Visions " 1cd 2014 (Canada)

    Maple Metal Records
    Remember when Rhapsody was still good? Yeah, neither do I. Apparently some people still take them seriously, cos Odin fucken knows there’s no other way that I can explain the existence of Primalfrost. A band that, despite its ludicrous name, isn’t an Immortal tribute band, and even though the artwork might suggest otherwise "Prosperous Visions" unfortunately isn’t a new episode in the fucken amazing King’s Quest series. In fact people tell me Primalfrost is a power metal band from Canada. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, cos so far I’ve heard as much great as terrible power metal bands from the Great White North. Oh wow. So this band is one part Children Of Bodom (up to "Follow the Reaper") and one part Rhapsody (up to, say, "Power Of the Dragonflame"). It’s completely fucken cheesy and over-the-top, but there’s no way this kind of victorious, glorious sounding traditional metal is going to suck. There’s just so much energy. The orchestrations and choral parts aren’t as prominent as in Rhapsody, for which I am fucken thankful cos they are schmaltzy. What I’ll do concede is that this kid can play. By Ruby Jones’ tits, this kid can play. I’m not a big fan of the vocals, which are more suited for a fucken Viking or pagan metal band. Imagine this band with a soaring falsetto and you just got the recipe for success. The clean vocals in ‘Tale Of the Hero’ are all sorts of absolutely fucken terrible. Holy fucken crap, dudes. There’s a lot of absolutely fucken dreadful shit in the power metal underground, but Primalfrost is something else. Not even the goofy name and video game artwork can take away from how fucken amazing this band of ugly Canadian men is. Oh, wait. Apparently this is a project of one Dean Arnold, who really looks like a ugly, zitty girl, and played in a band called Will Of the Ancients before – which makes this album all the more impressive, cos this sounds like a genuine full blown band. Is there a ring of bands that play this shit in Canada? Cos this fucken shit reminds me a lot of that other Canadian band, uhm, Kälter. I swear, you could put these bands together on a record, and wouldn’t be able to tell where the one stops, and the other begins. Which is actually meant as a compliment. Shit, dudes, shit. I can’t believe that with the amount of shit I have to fucken endure that good bands are still accounted for. Who the fuck knew… There’s one thing better, and that’s new Katie Banks pics. http://www.maplemetalrecords.com; www.facebook.com/Primalfrost; www.primalfrost.bandcamp.com comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 8
  • Tears Of Martyr - " Tales " 2cd 2013 (Gran Canaria)

    Massacre Records
    Oh, wow – there’s a new Amberian Dawn record? I didn’t fucken realize that the line-up from "River Of Tuoni" and "The Clouds Of Northland Thunder" relocated to Gran Canaria and call themselves Tears Of Martyr now. For fucken reals, Berenice Musa sounds almost exactly like Hot Heidi Parviainen. Every once in a while there’s some guy called Miguel grunting too, but he’s as dangerous sounding as Mark Janssen. So, yeah. Chocolate milk grunts aren’t exactly scary when tiny-framed girls like Maysa Rodrigues sound like grizzly bear vocalist Sylvain Houde (ex-Kataklysm). Seriously, this sounds so fucken close to Amberian Dawn that I’m surprised that Tuomas Seppälä hasn’t sued these people yet. Tears Of Martyr apparently only know two sorts of gothic: the cheesy and the ultra cheesy one. Half of this record sounds like Amberian Dawn, and the rest sounds like early Epica. It’s all here, tho: galloping riffing, circus piano melodies and the sort of dance rhythms that the poppy variety of this once-good genre now relies on. Oh sure, it’s metal alright. The sappy kind of power metal that is upbeat and happy that it makes you fucken wonder why anybody can seriously call this "gothic" metal. Call it female-fronted all you want, cos this has about zero to do with gothic metal. It’s not Boob Metal exactly, but it is coming fucken close to the territory. I don’t know what the fuck it is with this band, but everything sounds like Tim Burton Metal to me. Especially that song "Golem" with its plinking synthesizer keys and orchestras. Oh yeah, the chorus is catchy as all hell, but so if syfillis – but you wouldn’t want to catch that either. Just fucken saying. Oh fuck you too, it’s all written exactly as good as you think it is, and the production isn’t too shabby either, but Epica is still around and so is Amberian Dawn. Excuse me while I don’t exactly fall out of my chair in excitement cos your piece of shit band sounds nearly identical. I’m not 12 years old anymore. Maybe your audience is, but that’s your fucken problem. I dunno. The more I hear of these bands the more interchangeable with each other they become. If you want some new chick metal band to get in good graces with your girlfriend, by all means, knock yourself out. I have heard enough of this sappy shit to last me a fucken lifetime. I could be doing something else right now. Like getting insanely and obscenely drunk, or sending sweet messages to my Italian inamorata Vera Clinco. No. Instead I’m listening these "Tales". Fuck you too! http://www.massacre-records.de; www.facebook.com/pages/Tears-of-Martyr/86164698467; www.tearsofmartyr.com comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 6
  • Beatdown Hardwear - " Label sampler vol. 1 " compil. CD (Germany)

    Beatdown Hardwear Records
    Oh, hey – label samplers are still a thing? Who knew… Anyway, there used to be a time when these things were useful. Probably around the same time when printed magazines still mattered, and metal fans were something fucken resembling semi-literate, or, like, whatever. These days samplers are done digitally cos metal fans are fucken lazy, and don’t want to click more than two times to hear whatever the fuck they wanna hear. So yeah, Beatdown Hardwear (which is, surprisingly, not a porn label) put together a compilation of twenty (20!) bands of what their label has to offer. Thanks, I guess? Xibalba, despite its black metal name, are really fucken like Hannah Sharp: thick, and juicy with a heavy bottom to die for. Holy fucken crap, dudes. The vitriol, frustration and aggression is dripping from the vocals, and the bass guitar tone is fucken unreal. I used to remember when death metal was this passionate, and genuine. Harm/Shelter go for that Hatebreed and “Diatribes” Napalm Death sound, but with punk vocals that are equal fucken part Johnny Rotten as Wattie from The Exploited. Ryker’s are a bunch of angry old men that everybody should be fucken familiar with by now. Odin knows they have been at it longer than most. The drum tone is ass, but the bass guitar is heavier than the combined busts of Stacey Poole, Penny Lee and Libbie Smith. Just fucken saying. Heavy shit is heavy. Dead Man’s Chest go for that whole emotional and melodic thing, and thankfully aren’t inspired by fucken Pirates Of the Caribbean. Optimist for some reason really fucken remind of France’s Calvaiire in terms of intensity, but they are more punky. Look My Way are okay musically, but they have a horrendous singer. Manu Armata down my fucken alley. No fucking around, just straight up hardcore. I guess this reminds me of Cause For Revelation. What Pallass is supposed to be I dunno, but it isn’t my cup of fucken beer. Hardcore, sludge or fucken retarded breakdown/moshcore I dunno, cool vocalist, tho. Sand is more punk/hardcore with a terrible drum sound. The Last Charge is more of that fucken stupid and redundant Hatebreed worship that nobody in the right mind asked for, but for some reason labels keep pushing it out at an alarming rate. Maybe all those fucken moshers are as fucken retarded as they act. Coldburn is more of that “Diatribes” Napalm Death stuff in a fucken hardcore jacket. The Setup is something, altho I couldn’t fucken tell you what exactly. Half “Chaos AD”, half punk – all terrible and unnecessary. Fallbrawl, despite aping Catastropic’s terrible album art, are fucken abrasive and the sort of stuff that gets me all sorts of excited. World Eater sadly aren’t a Bolt Thrower tribute, but actually fucken remind me of The Sex Pistols circa “Never Mind the Bollocks” and Rancid (say “…And Out Come the Wolves” and its non-ska songs). Awaken Demons is more bare bones hardcore with a singer that really, really, really likes Jamie Jasta. Ruckus is really fucken filthy and thick sounding hardcore that has a bass guitar tone that would make fucken Demilich proud. They even solo, and go all fucken flamenco all off the sudden. World Of Pain thinks they are Textures circa “Polars” but with tough guy vocals and dem slow ass breakdowns stupid kids love. Yeah, it sounds exactly as fucken terrible as the description suggests. Seriously, put some Jon Zig “artwork” over this, and have some clogged toilet gurgle over it, and you could pass it off as a lost Devourment song. Nasty has a few good riffs, but are inconsequential otherwise. Keep on chugging like it is 1994, fellas. Warhound are pissed, but half of the Throatruiner roster does this better. Born From Pain closes the compilation, and they are fucken old dogs of the genre. Of course they do it better most. So yeah, about 5 great bands, 5 tolerable ones, and a bunch that really should have never left their rehearsal studios. Pretty worthwhile compilation overall. “Support the underground” and all that, fi you still believe in that nonsense. http://www.beatdownhardwear.com comment it (1) Flemming Gabin / 7
  • Ravenia - " Wingless " ep (Finland)

    Nothing will stop Armi Päivinen, headmistress of In Silentio Noctis and the sexiest Finn of them all, from complete and utter fucken world domination. Ravenia is her latest symfo metal project, and you’d be hardpressed to tell it apart from her main band. Not that I’m complaining. Anything with Armi is usually fucken great. Clothing optional. Nothing is better than Armi singing her cute little heart out, or her cavorting around in her tiny underwear. I’m not hard to please. Anyway, where In Silentio Noctis sounds like Tuomas’ Midlife Crisis, erm, Nightwish done right, or a less fucken fruity take on old Therion – Ravenia is just darker all around, and not nearly as hellbent on being black metal. Whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean with In Silentio Noctis. It’s not like they ever claimed to be “tr00” or anything. Whatever. If that sort of stuff is important to you, then you need to have your head examined. Geez. Ravenia fucken fits Armi and her angelic voice, who is always frowning and looking grumpy. “Wingless” is a nice little teaser EP of what hopefully will become a real project. This is a lot darker than her other band, and not nearly as overindulgent either. This reminds me a fucken lot of 90s gothic/symfo, in the sense that it is actually, you know, heavy, depressed and dark. Once upon a time symfo was actually dark. Thanks Armi for reminding us of that. If only the scene you are part of would get a fucken clue. If there’s one thing you can say about miss Päivinen is that she’s consistent. Consistently stunning, and consistently pro – this chica doesn’t sign off on anything unless it is professionally done. And I fucken like, no, adore her for that. I wish more metallers were like her. Don’t send me your crap unless you are absolutely sure it cannot be improved upon. No wonder she’s always so grumpy, it is fucken cold in Finland, and the booze is expensive as all hell too. It’s an –Ia band (Catamenia, Imperia, Krypteria, Xandria, et al) and it doesn’t fucken blow! Thank Odin that we have Armi Päivinen to show the world how this genre is supposed to be done. Makes you wonder why fucken crap like UnSun gets signed, and miss Päivinen is left alone in the fucken trenches. I swear, the metal industry is a joke! But I’m just an interwebs critic, or blogger and not important in the slightest. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The world needs more Armi Päivinen. That is a fact. Fuck you if you don’t get it. http://ravenia.bandcamp.com comment it (1) Flemming Gabin / 8
  • Soreption - " Engineering the Void " (Sweden)

    Unique Leader Records
    I was as surprised as you assholes were to learn that Unique Leader Records actually is still signing death metal. Yeah, that label has become so fucken terrible over the last half decade that most of their signings these days have me going: “For fuck’s sake, more of this terrible teenage deathcore drivel?! Sign real metal again, fuckos”. One of the few signings worth their salt is this bunch of ugly Swedes and their band Soreption. Oh well, I always joke and call this fucken band The Tony Westermark Project, cos that is what it is. A good thing is that you can hear the bass guitar, and there are plenty of sweet guitar solos everywhere! Holy fuck, good death metal… on Unique Leader Records. Yeah, the chance of that happening these days is about as fucken slim as me ending up in a three-way with Summer St. Claire and Holly Eriksson. Anyway, “Engineering the Void” is album numero two for these ugly men, and if you hate what Spawn Of Possession has become – this is the antidote. It’s really too bad that their bass guitarist decided he had better things to do, cos this guy could actually learn most metal bassists a thing or three. I mean, by Odin, this guy is probably the best thing since Chris Richards (ex-Suffocation), Jeroen-Paul Thesseling (ex-Pestilence, ex-Obscura) and Steve DiGiorgio (Death, Sadus, etc). The only fucken new thing, which is actually a really old thing, is the inclusion of several orchestral parts. Some of these things are really fucken cheesy. I mean, the segues in ‘Monumental Burden’ and the title track sound like the type of thing you’d expect in a Ratchet & Clank video game, and not a supposedly very necro, super technical and evil sounding death metal album. For some reason there are other people on this The Tony Westermark Project album, although I really like the bassist, and the guitarist does some really neat fucken stuff too. The vocalist kinda bores me with his try-hard tough guy growl vocals – but who cares about vocalists in death metal anyway?! Yeah, well, this is underground metal after all, so intelligence and coherence never come first. I still don’t get why this band and Cerebrum aren’t yet touring together. But there are many things I don’t understand about the metal scene, let alone the joke that is the industry. http://uniqueleader.com comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 8
  • Unsacred Seed - " Frontiers " (Canada)

    When you call your band Unsacred Seed you are setting yourself up for all sorts of expectations. When I read the fucken promo mail the band sent in (and before I saw the cover artwork), I was so ready to write this off as another retarded porndeath metal band that searches longer for the right samples than they do writing their songs. A name like Unsacred Seed doesn’t exactly scream intelligence, subtlety or coherence – so when “Frontiers” turned out to be an actually pretty fucken decent death metal album, I was as fucken amazed as you stupid assholes were. I don’t know which bands Unsacred Seed reminds me of, but I do know that this is the kind of death fucken metal that I can get behind. Holy crap, dudes. This shit is awesome. By Odin, modern death metal with electronic soundbits, melody and varied songwriting. No. Scratch that. Songwriting in modern death metal is rare enough in itself. I hear bits of old Kataklysm (say, “Sorcery” era), Golem, old Neuraxis, Death, Flesh Consumed, and the likes in this. The riffing is obviously of the Swedish variety, the construction itself is more contemporary and, well, sci-fi in death metal isn’t a novelty by a long shot. The bass guitar is actually important to the songs, so you can hear it popping and throbbing away. It might not sound evil in the slightest, but Unsacred Seed at least is able to convey their sci-fi atmosphere. And there’s solo’ing, fucken solo’ing. Okay, there are the usual boring and pointless dudebro breakdowns, retarded pit grooves and the drum production is completely fucken ass (listen to Gorefest’s “Erase” any pre-“Symbolic” Death album or Immolation’s “Unholy Cult” for a boss drum production) – on the whole this album is actually pretty fucken decent. Finally here’s a drummer that understands that it is okay to lay off the constant pounding bass drums, or that endless blasting is somehow a fucken prerequisite for this genre. Boo fucken hoo. Tasteful drumming wins over brutal blasting any day of the week. “Frontiers” is also completely fucken bass-heavy. I never heard of any of these bald men before, but I’m fucken glad one of them decided to sent me a promo invitation. I was amazed as you assholes were that this didn’t fucken blow. You learn something new every day. comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 7
  • Warfather - " Orchestrating the Apocalypse " (US/Brazil/Holland)

    Greyhaze Records
    Let it be said that death metal is about as fucken goofy as most of the black metal I regularly make fun of. Exhibit A: Warfather, the new band fronted by one-time Morbid Angel (who morphed in to PowerMorbid 5000 in the interim) vocalist Steve Tucker. Geez. Anybody with a fucken knack for 70s/80s Italian Mad Max and Road Warrior knock-offs will have a fucken field day with the promo pictures here: gun-toting steampunk women, guys wearing strange headgear with bladed weaponry and the main man himself in the weirdest apparel this side of, I dunno, the Atlanteans in “Raiders Of Atlantis”. Holy fucken crap are these costumes laughable and awful. The production is kinda off, and if it sounds like Warfather is playing two records at once, it probably is. For fuck’s sake, try harder already. The guitars, bass and vocals are produced fucken decently, but the drums sound like a pre-production demo at best. The production feels kinda bare bones and it never truly gels the various instruments together. It also is completely fucken bereft of any beef, and it feels strangely artificial. Oh sure, Tucker is his usual self proving that he was one of the better aspects of that fantastically awful (but in retrospect surprisingly decent) “Heretic” album. “Orchestrating the Apocalypse” feels like a half-finished product. I dunno. The foundation for a great record is definitely present and accounted for, but what the fuck this could have been (this could have been fucken monumental in good ol’ 90s death metal tradition) and what it is (a worthwhile but overall limp affair hampered by a subpar production) makes it sad that this was supposed to be Tucker’s re-entry into the underground death metal scene. Oh sure, the band is scattered across the Americas and central Europe – but that hasn’t stopped other far more low-profile projects from writing excellent music together. I mean, fuck me, this band features Steve Tucker (ex-Morbid Angel) and Eric de Windt (ex-Sinister, he sung on “Aggressive Measures”) along with a Brazilian dude and some American guy that wears strange masks and insists on being called Armatura (although I’m told he’s actually called Nick McMaster) – on the count of the first two this should have been massive, utterly relentless death metal of the purest kind. Well, it is for the most part. There are orchestrations (cos everybody wants a cake from Fleshgod Apoca-pasta’s pie), female vocals and esoteric solos – but to what end? A decent but ultimate forgettable USDM record that’s playing like its 2003? I kid you not. This is what “Orchestrating the Apocalypse” is. It’s decent, it’s pretty good – but that’s simply not good enough anymore. This should have been monumental, commanding, unearthly sounding death metal from celebrated scene veterans. It is not. And that’s a fucken shame. http://greyhazerecords.com comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 6
  • Acheronte - " Genesis Of Evil " (Italy)

    SBRT Records
    Black metal from Italy? It’s the joke that never grows old. If Handful Of Hate wasn’t enough to forever turn you away from Meditterranean black metal, this band certainly will. “Genesis Of Evil” is fucken generic, and about as necro, unholy and scary as a bag of meowing kittens. This sounds like “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticim” Immortal with acidic vocals as on Mayhem’s “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. You know, more like ancient death metal than actual, honest-to-Odin black metal. As a death metal record it is pretty tolerable, kinda like a better produced Old Funeral type deal. Yeah, you are a fucken idiot or hipster if you don’t know Old Funeral. The only track worth hearing is the title track, and the best fucken thing you could say about it is that it sounds like about, I dunno, a few hundred other bands currently ripping off Dark Funeral, Legion-era Marduk and Setherial. If that sounds like a recommendation to you, it is not. And in case it does, you need to have your head examined. The band photo is a complete hoot. Holy crap, dudes – this is almost as shitty as Handful Of Hate’s demo photo. One guy has an inverted cross painted on his forehead, the other guy has corpse paint almost identical to Abbath from Immortal (not exactly the fucken person to look up to). I wouldn’t be fucken surprised if these pieces of shit had their band photo taken in the basement of their parents’ restaurant cos this sounds like it was recorded in a basement. “Genesis Of Evil” is exactly as stupid and redundant as it title suggests, and there’s plenty of other stuff I could, no, should be doing right now. Like listening actual good music, or sending sweet messages to Vera Clinco, my Italian inamorata, from Caelestis. By Ruby Jones’ tits, I’m not nearly drunk enough to enjoy this – and even if I was, it wouldn’t change how fucken dreadful and unnecessary this band is. So yeah, this EP exists and you can buy it, if you are a masochist or a genre collector. Don’t expect to be fucken wowed, cos this shit puts me to sleep faster than Necrophagist. As if that was even fucken possible. Shit, dudes… comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 5
  • Black Path - " Dominion In Pain " (Greece)

    When you are involved with Cerebrum, probably the only Greek death metal worth remembering, why would anyone want to waste time fronting another band that sounds just like it? Kostas Mexis apparently, the guy currently fronting Cerebrum, also sings in this band – and that’s where the good news end. The rest of the band is made up of fucken nobodies. Not that Black Path is terrible or anything, this is competent groovy death metal with interesting leads/solos and funky bass lines. A lot of the time this sounds like Cerebrum lite. It is not nearly as technical, nor as fucken dynamic – but the general idea is the same, except that Cerebrum has a more interesting concept. Sure, these are skilled musicians especially bass guitarist Josh Bour deserves a mention. Did the world need this? Fuck knows there are a lot of really competent, entirely fucken faceless tech death metal bands all over the world, and we didn’t need one more. Odin knows that the technical death metal genre has lost a lot of its luster ever since every fucken hipster started forming their own band. Thankfully Black Path is better than most in the sense that they remember to write songs, and not fucken noodle endlessly like infamous wankers like Necrophagist, Brain Drill or Monumental Torment… I mostly like these ugly Greek men cos they remember the old values of the death metal genre. The songs prevail here. They aren’t especially memorable, dark or hateful – but at least there are songs. There’s no reason to rush out and buy this, but if that “support the underground” nonsense is important to you, I guess you could do a lot worse. If you like technical death metal like later Death, or pre-reunion Pestilence or those Dutch crazies from Polluted Inheritance, you’ll probably fucken love this as well. I personally like Natasha Anastasia and her big juicy boobs more than anything these ugly Greek men have committed to tape with this promo/EP, but I’m weird like that. Don’t take my word for it, tho. comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 6
  • Grace Disgraced - " Enthrallment Traced " (Russia)

    More Hate Productions
    Contrary to popular belief, in Russia there are actually young girls that aren’t involved in porn or adult entertainment. One of them is Polina Berezko, and she has the kind of grunt that combines the best of Rachel Heyzer-van Mastrigt, Corinne van den Brandt and Maria Kolokouri. Grace Disgraced play the sort of pulverizing death/thrash that was popular in the 90s. One part pre-“Human” Death, one part pre-“Vile” Cannibal Corpse and the rest of the time this really fucken reminds me of “Consuming Impulse” era Pestilence or those early Thanatos records. The band consists of nobody you ever heard of, and nobody you will probably ever hear of – except for drummer Andrew Ischenko, who has played for or done session work with everybody from Blaze fucken Bayley to Scrambled Defuncts. The bass-heavy production is deliciously old school, and Odin fucken knows that there are few underground metal bands these days that seem to fucken understand that. I guess some of this is technical, but the majority of it is just very groovy and headbangeable death metal. Hey, a couple of solos wouldn’t have hurt. Not that I’m complaining. Just fucken saying. At least you can hear the bass guitar, and the drums don’t sound like a fucken typewriter, for which I am thankful. By Ruby Jones’ tits, this is actually pretty good stuff, and it seems to hit about every box of a non-stupid, non-trendy throwback death metal record. The artwork is pretty cool, which was apparently rendered by one Mark Cooper. I fucken feared it would be another mushy Jon Zig “creation”, but this is actually tons better. Better than the horribly overrated Zig, Toshiro Egawa and/or Pär Olofsson. I don’t care what you assholes say, their shit is fucken overrated and shitty. Anyway, so Grace Disgraced do this genre pretty well, and if it wasn’t for the pictures in the booklet, you’d be hardpressed to fucken notice that this band is fronted by a girl. Still contemplate about writing a few solos in your songs for your next album, you crazy Russians. It would really fucken help making these songs stand out more. Apparently there’s more to Russia than retarded wiggerslam, horrible pagan/folk metal and cheap adult models. If this is the state of Russian underground metal, sign me up for more. comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 7
  • Last Fear - " Incidents " (Holland)

    Ten years ago my manager received a promo of these Dutchies. I don’t exactly fucken remember what he said about it at the time, but I remember him liking it enough to bother occasionally checking out what the band was up to. “Incidents” arrives after what seems like a fucken small eternity, and now Last Fear is fronted by this blonde girl Lisa Leerkamp. Lisa looks like the average party girl: blonde hair, luscious lips, a firm pair of big boobs -- she probably loves hard drinking and headbanging too. The lay-out is actually fucken superb, with the entire record being approached as a newspaper clipping with each song representing an article. Anyway, there’s three people singing so it’s hard to tell exactly who sings what. So yeah, this is technical death metal. Thank fucken Odin it is the listenable kind. It has a bit of everything: the mechanical grinding of Fleshgrind, the more melodic leanings of Death, the kind of intensity of old fucken Deeds Of Flesh. Oh yeah, there’s plenty of really fucken good solo’ing. Another fucken thing what Last Fear seems to understand is the importance of the bass guitar. You can actually fucken hear it throb and pop away, which in itself is a fucken rarity in underground metal, especially death metal. One of the good things about Last Fear is that they are old school in mindset. What the fuck does that mean? It means that they aren’t nearly as singleminded as some of the younger bands in this genre tend to be. They do a bit of everything and don’t exclusively base their songwriting around fucken sweep picking, bass drops, breakdowns or I know what. No. Thankfully these guys and girl realize there’s more to death metal than playing really, really fast and difficult. Geez. Apparenlty songwriting still exists in the underground. Who knew? I sure as fucken hell had given up on it ever since the explosion of really fucken wretched technical death metal bands that all can play their instruments really well, but couldn’t write a fucken song if their pathetic piece of shit lives depended on it. Not so with this band. Whether we have Luscious Lisa to thank for that I’ll leave in the middle. “Incidents” will hardly reinvent the genre, but I wish I heard more of this stuff than all those beyond horrible one-track mind bands. comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 8
  • Raven X - " Essence Without Light " (USA)

    Bat Zuge Records
    Raven X is an American gothic/death metal band. Is there even such a fucken thing as a honest-to-Odin good US gothic metal band, let alone one that mixes it with death metal? The last time I heard such a thing was with the beyond fucken awful 13 Winters and I’m still having nightmares about that. Oh yeah, there was Echoes Of Eternity, or Francine Has Really Big Tits as this band should have been called – we all fucken know that is the reason why that band ever was able to put out a record, or two. Anyway, so Raven X apparently hails from Cleveland, Ohio which makes me fucken wonder why they didn’t record at Mars Recording Compound with Bill Korecky. As you can fucken imagine this band is fronted by a twenty something girl insisting on being called Nÿx, and she has the kind of serpentine rasp that recalls Cadaveria (ex-Opera IX), and absolutely fucken wretched clean vocals. The production is all sorts of crappy with plastic sounding digital drums that make Mortician’s drum programming sound good in comparison. The guitar tone is admittedly crunchy, but strangely floats around it, but never fucken connects with the drumming. Granted, the guy can play a solo if he sets his mind to it, but most of it is chugging like it’s 1994. I’m sure there’s a bass guitar in this somewhere too, but I’m pretty damn fucken certain they mixed it so low as they did with Bennie Fors in Dark Funeral. The tempo is pretty low too. This is the type of music that Armi Päivinen can write three times a week, when she’s drunk on sparkly wine, or feeling horny – and still beat this American duo with one hand tied behind her back. The idea is actually pretty commendable, the execution is just fucken lacking. Not that I don’t wish this guy and girl the best of fucken luck, I absolutely do – but this would be ideal for a pre-production demo, but not as a fucken finished product. The acoustic stuff is absolutely fucken beautiful in execution and production, but the metal parts are amateuristic and fucken abysmal. There’s no two ways about it. Hopefully Raven X can learn from this experience and bolster their fucken strengths and write a good album. The writing isn’t that much of a problem (besides having typical demo band failings), the production work just needs to be reassembled and finetuned. This is not it. Hence the fucken rating. http://www.batzugerecords.com/ comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 5
  • Amputated - " Dissect, Molest, Ingest " (UK)

    Sevared Records
    Amputated got amputated, and I’m not even kidding when I fucken say this. This used to be “that other band from Ollie Jones of Desecration”. Anyway, so nobody from the old line-up is in the band anymore – in their stead we now got most of Caiaphas, a metalcore band naming itself after that legendary hack from Norwegian-Italian melodic black metal band Ancient. To say that I wasn’t expecting much based on that information would be a fucken understatement. So yeah, this is released on Sevared Records so it isn’t very fucken surprising that this sounds like a cheap Cannibal Corpse/Suffocation and Fleshgrind knockoff. That sort of fucken shit is expected at this point. “Dissect, Molest, Ingest” might sound like the most characterless, colorless death metal title, but at least the record is solid enough. Not exactly spectacular, cos this is Sevared Records after all, but for a knockoff this could have been far fucken worse. It ticks all the boxes you expect: goofy “gory” artwork, inane songtitles and the typical amount of slams that glue sniffing stupid kids love and gravity blasts so they can call this “technical”. The production is fairly typical in its clinical dryness. The kickdrums sound fucken impotent, but at least the guitar tone is crunchy. The vocals are fucken pretty good too, way better than the living toilet ‘Morbid’ Mark Pearce, but nowhere near as good as Ollie Jones. Of course, since this is Sevared Records going in expecting guitar solos, varied songwriting or intelligence is fucken futile and pointless. Frankly, I’m glad that this record doesn’t even reach the 40 minute mark cos that would be fucken boring. “Dissect, Molest, Ingest” is one of the better Sevared Records releases – but that isn’t saying much of anything. Anything is better a Sevared Records release. Just fucken saying. If you are new to underground death metal, or are a big fan of mid-tier drab like Mortal Decay or Suture you’ll probably find Amputated “the best fucken thing, brah” – but I’m not new to death metal, nor am I a fucken fan of Mortal Decay or Suture, and there are far better records in this genre if you know where to look. I suggest you fucken search these albums out, instead of wasting your time with shit like this. This isn’t exactly shitty, but it isn’t exactly good either. It exists and you can buy it, if you still believe that “support the underground” nonsense. This could have been far worse, but that doesn’t make it a fucken recommendation. These guys are British, but that is as far as the good news goes. http://www.sevared.com comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 6
  • Bleeding Fist - " Death’s Old Stench " (Slovenia)

    Moribund Records
    There is more Slovenia than Nina Spruk and her bountiful mounds. Bleeding Fist has been stinking up the airwaves for the last decade, and “Death’s Old Stench” contains unreleased material recorded between 2011 and 2013. It is no fucken surprise that this compilation was put together, cos most of the songs here sound nothing like Bleeding Fist’s usual chaotic, rumbling nuclear black/thrash metal. And Hellscream does some clean vocals and spoken parts even! Imagine the reaction of the necro purists! Anyway, Bleeding Fist is it usual bestial self. The production is actually pretty fucken tolerable for once, although the drums still sound like they were recorded in a fucken basement. For some fucken reason there was a lot of fucken man-drama and half the band left apparently, which is probably why we got this compilation of odds and ends. At least we got Cvinger out of the deal, and they sound almost identical to old Bleeding Fist. As I understand it Bleeding Fist is now half Italian, mostly due to the new rhythm section of some dude behind the drums and a chica on guitars. You probably wouldn’t be able to tell that the guitarist is a chica cos of the goofy corpse paint and gas masks, but at least you know now. She calls herself Jex, so yeah. I don’t if she ever takes her top off. Who the fuck knows?! What was I talking about? Oh yeah, that most of the songs here sound nothing like Bleeding Fist, and that’s okay. Bleeding Fist is fucken silly anyway, the good kind of silly. Half of the fucken time I think I’m listening to a much slower Ancient Rites, circa “The Diabolical Serenades”. Usually compilations are fucken useless and an easy moneygrabbing technique used by soulless labels, but at least Moribund put some time and effort in compiling this. So yeah, not exactly fucken mandatory or essential to your Bleeding Fist record collection, but at least it is a worthwhile effort. Now let’s hope Hellscream can keep it in his pants, and that he doesn’t sexually assault Jex so we can have a new Bleeding Fist sooner rather than later. Just fucken saying. Stay necro! comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 7
  • Crucifliction - " Heresy Is Met With Fire " (Canada)

    Canada is a strange fucken country. It is home to Avril Lavigne, but also to fucken Bryci and Katie Banks. I’m also pretty fucken sure they need an entire province just to house Flo Mournier’s insurmountable ego. If it wasn’t enough that we already fucken got Newfoundland’s Category VI, Vancouver brings out another strong traditional metal unit with Crucifliction. What? Yeah, dude, I had to read the name twice too cos it is so fucken silly. The band doesn’t really sing about anti-religious stuff, or about conflict – so why they fucken chose that name is beyond me. The music is pretty solid, tho. Not exactly spectular or anything, but pretty good enough. Instead of sounding like a gay metalcore band (fuck you Into Eternity!), this sounds like a muscular old Iron Maiden record, or a good Iced Earth record (yeah, that was fucken twenty years ago, alright). It also helps that this record has pumping bass lines and some good solo’ing. I guess what makes this record is appealing is that caters to a different aspect of traditional metal. Whereas Into Eternity has all trappings of modern day metalcore, Category VI has that upbeat Iron Maiden feel, Crucifliction is more gritty going more for that “Kill ‘Em All” feel rather than, say, “The Number Of the Beast”. The songs are pretty fucken straightforward, and there’s not a one epic track worth mentioning. The vocals are acquired fucken taste, but if Sean Killian was able to briefly have a career in metal, so can this guy. The artwork is totally amazing, and it would have looked even better if it had been done by Ed fucken Repka. At least I’m fucken thankful that it wasn’t more of that awful mushy shit by Jon Zig. So yeah, “Heresy Is Met With Fire” is a pretty good record, not especially memorable or amazing, but pretty good in its own right. I still prefer Amanda Marie Gosse over this any day of the week, but I’m weird like that. Just fucken saying… comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 7
  • Fear of Domination - " Distorted Delusions " (Finland)

    Inverse Records/Domination Music
    In case you are one of the three people that really liked Demon Burger’s “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia” – you might actually really fucken love Fear Of Domination, cos this sounds just like it. Well, minus Nick Barker, the orchestra and Shagrath’s tired old croaks. “Distorted Delusions” is album numero three for this bunch of painted Finnish clowns, and I can’t fucken say it made me stand up and take notice. Not that anything of it is particularly bad, or embarrassing. It is just so spectacularly uneventful, and unexciting outside of a few guitar acrobatics here and there. Oh sure, this would probably have been released by Nuclear Blast, Spinefarm or Century Media back in 2000 – but not even that can save this industrial band of mediocrity and irrelevance. The fact that they hail from Finland, the land of Armi Päivinen, is one thing – but it is hardly a thing that matters. For fucken reals, tho. This band chugs like it’s 1994, and the metal elements are kinda secondary when fucken push comes to shove. It’s not something I choose to listen to when I can have Herrschaft and Jessy Christ screaming like a demon possessed. This fucken shit is so vanilla it hurts. And the fucken cheesy ballads! By fucken Odin, make it stop already. I guess this will be appealing to the average Static-X fan, but those of us who have actual standards (or taste, and common sense) gave up on industrial metal ever sounding actually good again. Mysticum did it in the mid 90s, but that fucken ship sailed long ago. Oh sure, fuck you too, last year there was that Lyfthrasyr album that was halfway decent, but how much is that saying exactly? Not much, right. “Distorted Delusions” compiles every imaginable industrial metal cliché and cranks them up to 11. It’s hardly memorable, or worth staying awake for. Odin knows that the only thing that remotely appealed to me were the female guest vocals, especially those in ‘Needle’. And guess what? It’s band from Finland, so Inverse Records HAD to release it. I swear if something comes from Finland, the land of Armi Päivinen, and it isn’t death – or black metal then it’s a statistic probability that it will be god fucken awful, and Fear Of Domination (like Dead End Finland and Magenta Harvest before them) is no fucken exception. Where do they keep finding these bands, and who the fuck buys this shit? Go die in a fire, or something. Geez. I could be doing productive things right now. Like talking to Armi Päivinen, or watching some videos. Right. http://www.inverse.fi comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 5
  • Horizon Ablaze - " Dodsverk " (Norway)

    Code666 Records/Aural Music
    The big selling point according to the label is that is a band “featuring members of 1349, Absu and Blood Red Throne.” Sure, it does feature Shandy McKay (formerly of Absu, but hardly part of the classic line-up of that band) and the only Blood Red Throne member involved is new recruit Ole Bent Madsen. Who? Exactly. The guy famous for replacing the original and far more accomplished bass guitarist Erlend Caspersen is in this band from Kristiansand too. Where the whole 1349 angle comes from I don’t know, but who honestly the fuck cares at this point? 1349 are fucken dreadful anyway. Supposedly this is a “Nihilistic Apocalypse of Molten Extreme Metal” – I don’t know what that is supposed to mean, but this sounds a lot like technical black metal to me. If old Enslaved (pre-“Mardraum”) decided to play technical death metal and throw in some old Neurosis, or something. I can definitely fucken see why stupid kids would go all kinds of crazy about this. “Dodsverk” is actually pretty good. Something I could listen to again after I review it. The jazz intro to ‘Domt til Frihet’ is totally pointless and besides showing how “open minded” and “eccentric” these fucks are it has no function. So what is this exactly? A band that plays death metal with black metal techniques and throws in some half-hearted sludge metal ideas to appeal to hipsters and stupid kids. Granted, it is not nearly as imbelicic as the label makes it out to be, but that isn’t a compliment either. More than anything Horizon Ablaze is made up of competent musicians stuck playing a creatively dead genre, and no amount of wank or theatricality is going to be able to hide that. Sure, the bassist isn’t half bad, but he’s only famous cos of the guy he replaced. This is a fucken confused bunch that can’t decide what the fuck it wants to be: a jazz band, an acoustic folk rock band, a somewhat technical death metal band or a typical Norwegian black metal act. It does a bit of everything, and that typically results in an album that labels fall over themselves to label “progressive” and “atmospheric” while most of the fucken time it just is a combination of fucken generic metal genres in order to appeal to as many different audiences as possible. Close, but no fucken cookie. Come back when you decide what you wanna be. Unlike you pieces of shit, I have better stuff to do. http://www.code666.net comment it (0) Flemming Gabin / 6

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