Thursday, December 29, 2011

Six In Line - U Shud Hev Invtd Me


Despite Six In Line's choice to butcher a simple sentence for the title of their EP, the crossover stylings of these Swedes is quite good. You may have heard of another new crossover band that hails from Sweden that seems to be sweeping the metal underground by storm, that band being Dr. Living Dead. Well, Six In Line can definitely hang with those guys and they prove it with just three simple tracks on "U Shud Hev Invtd Me." (Cringes as I spell that out)

The sound here is pretty normal for a crossover band. Sweet headbanging riffs more along the midpaced speed, barely understandable vocals that stem from the hardcore punk style more than thrash, and an all around intense atmosphere made to cause destruction. One thing that stands out about Six In Line compared to other bands of the same style is the length and structure of the tracks. Most crossover bands write a lot of material with each song ranging from about a minute to two minutes long, but the three tracks on "U Shud Hev Invtd Me" are all around the three to five minute range. "Plata o Plomo" is the longest song here but it contains the same reckless energy that any two minute punk song has, with plenty of moments that will get your headbanging and singing along with the catchy choruses (Thanks to some very sweet gang vocals). 

There really isn't much more to be said about this EP. It's 12 and a half minutes of some fun and catchy music that any fan of crossover or thrash can enjoy. Also, Dr. Living Dead had better watch their backs, because it wouldn't surprise me if Six In Line makes a bigger name for themselves in the underground of Sweden. 

Be sure to check out and like Six In Line on Facebook!

Highlights
"We Intend to Hang You"
"Plata o Plomo"
"You Should Have Invited Me"

Final Rating
4.3/5 or 86%.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Top 11 Death Metal Albums of 2011

As already mentioned in my previous top 11 list, this year has been fucking fantastic as far as metal releases go. I haven't kept up with every scene as much as I'd like to and thus the only lists I can conjure up are for thrash and death metal, but these lists feature the best ones around, well the ones I've heard. If an album you felt should have been here and it isn't I either didn't hear it, never heard of it or I thought it wasn't up to par (I'm looking at you Deicide, Morbid Angel and Vader). 




#11. Maim - Deceased to Exist
The first album of today's list is none other than Maim's newest effort "Deceased to Exist." A very cool album that reminds one of the more well known new force in Swedish death metal, Tribulation. Some very cool, thrashy death metal, although Maim brings some more doom with them than the aforementioned Tribulation. If you like Bolt Thrower or Autopsy then you should like this one. 


Highlights
"Gravedigger Sacrifice"
"Deceased to Exist"
"Screams of the Mutilated"



#10. Funerus - Reduced To Sludge
It's amazing how Funerus managed to actually make music that sounded as if it were reducing one to sludge. Some very filthy, and doomy death metal here but what would you expect from a band featuring John McEntee of the legendary Incantation? Seriously, this is some catchy stuff sure to get your headbanging so check it if you haven't. 

Highlights
"Behind the Door"
"Bedpan Commando"
"Reduced to Sludge"


#9. Disma - Towards The Megalith
This album may not have won the album of the year award, but they definitely have the coolest album cover. Another effort featuring a member who was once affiliated with Incantation, Craig Pillard absolutely crushes everything in his path here with his Goliath-like growls. Oh and having some extremely heavy death metal music behind the vocals helps too. Some top notch heaviness right here that any fan of ridiculously heavy music can enjoy.

Highlights
"Chaos Apparition"
"Lost in the Burial Fog"
"Purulent Quest"


#8. Autopsy - Macabre Eternal
This album is definitely a grower. Not Autopsy's greatest moment, but it's a stellar release nonetheless. Unlike other old-school death metal giants (*cough Morbid Angel *cough), Autopsy delivered on their latest effort. They didn't detract from their traditional sound or innovate much, they just did what they do best and that's suffocate the listener with their brand of doom-laden metal. 

Highlights
"Dirty Gore Whore"
"Macabre Eternal" 
"Deliver Me From Sanity"


#7. Acephalix - Interminable Night
You've gotta love that crusty death metal, and if you don't then you need a reprimanding of epic proportions and I'm sure Acephalix would be more than obliged to give said reprimanding. "Interminable Night" is a slab of heavy, old-school sounding death metal intertwined with that d-beat driven assault, and there isn't much more to be said about it, other than it's awesome.

Highlights
"Daemonic Sign"
"Rebirth Into Perversion"
"Interminable Night"


#6. Cannabis Corpse - Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise
They're back, only this time these stoned bastards aren't parodying Cannibal Corpse but other Floridian metal legends, Morbid Angel and Deicide. Really, the whole "marijuana parody" gimmick isn't what should be focused on because these guys can conjure up some wicked death metal and that's all that matters. Some seriously great stuff here, so check it out. 

Highlights
"Sworn to the Bag"
"Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise"
"Immortal Pipes"


#5. Vanhelgd - Church of Death
The amazing amount of music to come from Sweden is absolutely astounding, but what's even more mind boggling is that these guys don't sound Swedish! In place of the constant d-beats and HM-2 pedal, are dark melodies and evil atmospheres reminiscent of Asphyx and Morbid Angel. This some grade A death metal that everyone should take note of. 

Highlights
"Nec Spe, Nec Metu"
"Church of Death"
"Total Apokalyps"


#4. Horrendous - The Chills
An album that I only recently became acquainted with, but it kicks severe amounts of ass all the same. There's enough variety and brilliance in songwriting here that could please any fan of death metal. For fans of Autopsy, Deicide, Bolt Thrower, and Dismember. 

Highlights
"Ripped To Shreds"
"Fleshrot"
"The Ritual"


#3. Morbus Chron - Sleepers in the Rift
Ok, I take back what I said about Disma having the coolest album cover, because... Well look at that thing! It's pretty cool that Morbus Chron's music takes as many twists and turns as the cover. There's plenty of fast parts and there are plenty of heavy parts that trudge along, as well as a general weirdness that not many death metal bands today have got. Cheers to these guys for that. 

"Creepy Creeping Creep"
"Ways of Torture"
"Red Hook Horror"


#2. Bastard Priest - Ghouls of the Endless Night
What happens when you take that filthy old school Swedeath sound and mix it with the intensity of crust punk? You get “Ghouls of the Endless Night.” This album is stellar from beginning to end. There are plenty of ripping tracks to get your headbanging, while there are also some tracks that are extremely doomy and hit you like a brick. This one finds itself comfortably a top this list, as well as places Bastard Priest at the top of the new death metal scene. 

Highlights
"Ghouls of the Endless Night"
"Last Scream"
"Enormous Thunder of the End"


#1. Miasmal - Miasmal
And coming in at number one is the debut album of Swedish death metallers Miasmal. This album did everything right and hit everyone of my musical "g-spots," mixing in the perfect amount of Dismember worship with undeniable Wolfpack and Autopsy influences as well. Fucking get this album if you haven't, or I'll find you. 

Highlights
"Mesmerized"
"Mists"
"Toxic Breed"













Friday, December 16, 2011

Horrendous - The Chills


If you think that album cover is cool, just wait until you take a listen to the music. While I have no problems when bands play strictly old school metal with no intentions of finding their own sound or showing any intent on achieving anything remotely innovative, it's usually better when a band can show some originality. Horrendous is one of those bands, and their debut full-length "The Chills" is a very fun trip full of twists and turns that every death metal fan can enjoy. 

There isn't a single style of death metal that this album could be compared to. It's got some bits and pieces of Swedeath, Floridian death metal, and some of that good ol' fashioned doom/death. The opening track "The Womb" kicks off with a slow and sinister sounding melody that sets up the rest of the song perfectly, featuring plenty of death metal style tremolo sections and midpaced riffs created for one purpose: to wreck your fucking neck. The song "Fleshrot" is probably the most Florida sounding track. It's extremely fast and heavy. Seriously, the midpaced riffs in this song are some of the best that I've heard all year and put a lot of young thrash and death metal bands to shame. Another amazing track here is the doom-laden monster "The Ritual." I'm not sure if Horrendous did this intentionally, but this track's name is near identical to a song by the legendary Bolt Thrower, but that's not the weird part. This song more than any other on the record has a large Bolt Thrower influence, with the brilliant mix of heavy, doom riffs and melodies with the faster parts made for headbanging. 

Having all of this variety in sound is one reason why "The Chills" is such a great record, but it's not the only reason. It always comes down to how well a band can write a song, and Horrendous can definitely do this. There are several instances throughout this album where you are tapping your feet along to the death metal tremolos and then suddenly you're leveled a heavy riff that forces your head to bang, with the song "Ripped to Shreds" being the best example of this. Along with the songwriting, the band excels at such little nuances that they place throughout the album, that when they're all mixed together the overall sound is magnificent. There are plenty of instances when Horrendous' guitar players weave in some fast solos while the vocals are doing their job at the forefront, and it takes the listener back to the first time they heard "Dreaming with the Dead." There are always some nice solos and melodies being thrown into the music, but it doesn't hinder the overall sound or sidetrack the listener, but it intensifies the bleak atmosphere created by all of the moving parts that make this record as terrific as it is.

It's near stupefying that such a well-written record like "The Chills" was written by such a young band, but masterful albums in the past were written by young punks who were just playing what they wanted and that's exactly what Horrendous has done here. If you're looking for quality death metal that sounds undeniably old-school from a new band, then this is exactly what you want. 

Be sure to check out and like Horrendous on Facebook!

Highlights
"Ripped to Shreds"
"Fleshrot"
"The Ritual"

Final Rating
4.5/5 or 90%.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Disma - Towards the Megalith


The year 2011 has seen a lot of great releases and has been one of the better years for metal in general. Most of these releases have been from bands consisted of younger members, some so young that they were either a small child or infant when bands like Slayer and Kreator were shattering boundaries in the thrash realm or when Death and Possessed were spawning the death metal subgenre. So, when a band like Disma comes along, featuring members of many terrific bands from the past (Incantation and Funebrarum being the most notable) and there is nothing but praise resounding through the metal community about them, it's a very refreshing and positive thing to hear. I have yet to come across any bad press about Disma's debut full-length album "Towards the Megalith," so me getting my hands on this album was practically inevitable, and there is no disappointment or regret about getting this at all. 


"Towards the Megalith" is one of the heaviest albums of 2011, without a doubt. To say this album slithers along and crushes simultaneously would be a major understatement. If one were to allude to this album as one that slithers like a serpent they had better mention that the serpent is a 500 pound constrictor that collapses your windpipe and smothers you with it's heaviness. Seriously, the guitar tone on this record is undeniably doomy and creates a brilliant atmosphere that hails back to the great death metal bands who filled the Finnish scene. With members coming from Incantation and Funebrarum, the doom-laden riffs and evil sound were to be expected, but the music found here isn't completely ripping off the members' former work. In fact, Disma was bringing that sound into 2011 with their own twist, taking influence from bands like Autopsy and disEMBOWELMENT to achieve that filthy and ridiculously heavy sound. These guys just hit you with one heavy riff after another, and then throw in a doomy interlude or a nice midpaced death metal tremolo section for good measure. Songs like "Chaos Apparition" and "Purulent Quest" really highlight this sound, never giving the listener a chance to escape the constricting suffocation of the serpent that is "Towards the Megalith."


Other than the stellar vocal performance from Craig Pillard (What do you expect though? It's fucking Craig Pillard) and the onslaught of heaviness from the guitars, there really isn't much more to discuss. Disma are exactly what an older band should be doing these days. They aren't changing much from the traditional sound, but they somehow manage to sound fresh, rather than generic or trying to hard to sound old-school. "Towards the Megalith" will drag you down into an abyss and it will not let you escape until the album is done, so if you have a short attention span and can't handle the doomy, slow pace that this record takes, we will not miss you. But, if you enjoy being buried by music heavier than a semi-truck, you have to hear this album. 


Be sure to check out and like Disma on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Disma/137903672940606

Highlights
"Chaos Apparition"
"Lost in the Burial Fog"
"Purulent Quest"


Final Rating
4.4/5 or 88%. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Maim - Deceased To Exist


Here we have yet another new death metal album played with the same filth and intent to smother the listener with the old school Swedish goodness of the nineties. I've come across a lot of albums that play in this style and a lot of them come off as generic or repetitive, but this is not the case with Maim. One of the biggest names in this new wave of Swedeath is Tribulation, a great band that mixes the sound of the ancients like Grave and Entombed with some thrash influences. Maim follows a similar path, but they also bring in some doom influence and the results on "Deceased to Exist" are great. 

One album that this one reminds me of is Bolt Thrower's "War Master." Why you ask? Well, that album saw the band take their doomy sound to another level, but it also saw them speed things up for their fastest record since their debut. The same thing applies here on Maim's sophomore effort. There are a lot of fast moments that possess some thrash influence, like on the tracks "Nuclear Funeral" and "Screams of the Mutilated." But in the same breath, there are moments of pure Autopsy and Asphyx worship. Just listen to the title track and near five minute instrumental "Crematory." Of course, this is a death metal album and the songs "Purged Through Napalm" and "Resurrected From Hell" are two slabs of pure, relentless death metal that puts the listener in a time travelling machine, sending them back to the early nineties when they first heard albums like "Into the Grave" and "Dark Recollections." 

There isn't much more to be said about this album. The other instruments all do their job exceptionally well, but nothing extraordinary. "Deceased to Exist" brings forth quite an amount of variety to the table, especially for an album that consists of a sound mainly considered to be another Swedeath revival band. If you're a fan of Tribulation, Autopsy or Bolt Thrower, then you should have no problems welcoming this collection of evil music into your home. 

Be sure to check out and like Maim on Facebook!

Highlights
"Gravedigger Sacrifice"
"Deceased to Exist"
"Screams of the Mutilated"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Acephalix - Interminable Night


The Bay Area seems to be experiencing a resurgence of sorts, but not in the thrash genre for which the area is most famous. It's a death metal resurgence. Of course there are the hometown giants in Autopsy, but also relative newcomers Vastum, Mortuous and the death/crust squadron Acephalix. A lot of the bands out today that combine crust and death metal, usually sound a lot more Swedish than any other kind of death metal but Acephalix sounds a lot like their hometown heroes in Autopsy, as well as Florida death metal masters Obituary. 


The production on this album is a bit different from a lot of the newer "old-school" death metal releases, because it sounds a lot more clean and crisp, but it still retains that gritty, old school feel. Every midpaced riff here is crushing and every upbeat, crusty riff is sure to get your headbanging and have your ears thanking you. The riffs in "Daemonic Sign" and "Rebirth Into Perversion" are so heavy and catchy it's scary. The death metal tremolo riffs found here are heavy and move along very nicely. The mix of the crustier riffs and the tremolo sections on the song "Christ Hole" are great and the intro to the title track is pure old school Swedeath worship, and I love it. 


"Interminable Night" also has a great rhythm section that backs the riffs and guitar work perfectly. The bass has a devastating tone and when it gets some time to shine on its own ("Rebirth Into Perversion") it sounds amazing. The drums are always going at a very high level throughout this beast, whether it's some brutal double bass assaults or the d-beats, the drummer makes sure Acephalix is moving at a breakneck pace. The vocals on "Interminable Night" are a real highlight on their own. They sound like a sweet cross between John Tardy and Chris Reifert. They're really throaty like Tardy's and they have that creepy and indecipherable vibe that Reifert has and they command the crust filled death metal tremendously. 


This record, or compilation, whatever the hell you wanna call it, is the real deal. Acephalix are the real deal. If you're allergic to or afraid of music so heavy it could be the soundtrack to an apocalyptic earthquake, then you need to avoid "Interminable Night" at all costs, but if you want some death metal with a side of d-beat destruction, then Acephalix is a band you need to be listening to. 


Be sure to check out and like Acephalix on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Acephalix/116269338417902


Highlights
"Daemonic Sign"
"Rebirth Into Perversion"
"Interminable Night"


Final Rating
4.4/5 or 88%. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Vanhelgd - Church of Death


In the midst of all the Swedeath revival bands, comes a death metal band from Sweden who doesn't play in the traditional style of the old masters such as Dismember or Unleashed. While the Swedish death metal tends to be my favorite kind, I have absolutely no problems with Vanhelgd playing a more American style, infused with undeniable Asphyx and Bolt Thrower influences. 

If I told you that the vocalist on this record was Martin Van Drunen and you didn't look it up, you would probably believe me. The vocals sound near identical to the death metal legend, but there are two different vocalists here and it's pretty clear on tracks like "The Final Storm" and "Alone With the Dead." The vocals on these songs in particular are downright evil. They're almost on the verge of being black metal vocals, but it suits the music perfectly and gives it an even darker edge. 

"Church of Death" is pretty varied when it comes to the riffs and other guitar work. There is a lot of tremolo riffing that is backed by blast beats and extremely fast paced drumming, and there are also slower and heavier tremolo riffs found throughout this album. The tremolo bursts on the song "Total Apokalyps" are faster than Morbid Saint on PCP, and it suits the lyrical content brilliantly. It should also come as no surprise that this is probably the most savage song on the album. Some of the death metal styled tremolo parts are a little different though. The passages on the song "Mansklighetens Finala Ruin" have a melodic-ish twist to them and give the overall feel a more unique atmosphere than the rest of the tracks. This album also has it's fair share of heavy midpaced riffs that reek of Bolt Thrower on "Realm of Chaos." 

Another highlight of the guitars on this record, are the melodies that can be found on almost every track. This isn't your typical lame Gothenburg or metalcore melody though, but the dark and sinister kind that sends chills down your spine. The title track of this album consists of mostly melodies that invoke a doomy feel, similar to Autopsy on "Mental Funeral." The closing song on "Church of Death," "Alone With the Dead" also has some great use of these dark melodies. Not only do these melodic moments make the song sound more evil, but the track comes off as an epic one. 

Vanhelgd definitely stands out in today's death metal scene with their brand of dark and twisted metal. Every song holds its own and stands out, but at the same time retains a core sound that lets the listener know it's a Vanhelgd song. "Church of Death" should rank high on your albums to get list if you haven't heard this already, it's varied and breathes a breath of fresh air to the Sweden death metal scene that is flooded with sameness.

Be sure to check out and like Vanhelgd on Facebook!

Highlights
"Nec Spe, Nec Metu"
"Church of Death"
"Total Apokalyps"

Final Rating
4.5/5 or 90%.  

Miasmal - Miasmal


In recent years, one of the largest movements in the metal world has been the thrash revival. But there has also been another movement nearly as large, yet it's not as widely known as the NWOTM. This has been the sudden old school death metal revival, whether it's been the Swedeath worshipers, the Incantation lovers or the Autopsy clones, there are a lot of new death metal bands playing their music like it's 1991 all over again. Miasmal is no exception, but they also incorporate some very awesome crust influence to their hybrid of swedish death metal and the more doomy goodness. 


To sum up the sound in one sentence all I have to say is that this is what Wolfpack/Wolfbrigade would sound like had they been a death metal band. The vocals sound extremely similar to those of Jonsonn on "A New Dawn Fades," only a bit more rough to suit the darker material. The same aggression and all around destructive pace that we all know and love of Wolfpack is also apparent here. Just take a listen to "We Will Live Forever" and "Toxic Breed" for a taste of the amazing metalpunk attack that Miasmal delivers. One of the integral parts of the music on Miasmal's self-titled debut has to be the drums. Of course there are the d-beats, but there are also some great double bass onslaughts as well as some terrific fills that add some real heaviness. I must also applaud the lack of blast beats on this record, because the speed that the band achieves at some points without the blasts is absolutely ridiculous. Once the track "Equinox 432" starts, it's almost like being hit by a wall of death metal brilliance and speed. 


This group of Swedish misfits are an overachieving bunch though. It wasn't enough to bring in the heavy crust influence, but they also decided to look within to find their inner Autopsy. Miasmal manages to balance the intense metalpunk mayhem perfectly with some more doomy moments and I don't believe I have heard a better combination from any new band yet. With all of these different sounds, the threat of sounding like a forced clusterfuck of random influences becomes much greater, but these guys sound amazing. The opening track "Mesmerized" starts with an evil sounding doomy riff that is later accompanied by some even more evil sounding powerchords to achieve maximum heaviness. The songs "Mists" and "Death Mask" also possess some eerie doom metal qualities whether it's because of the heavy chords, melodies or guitar solos. 


"Miasmal" has to be the best album I've heard all year, and it's quite a tragedy that it took me this long to listen to it. It's almost like the band was catering to my personal taste by combining some of my favorite bands ever into one album. So, if you're a fan of Dismember, Autopsy or Wolfpack then this album is made for you and if you're not a fan of any of those bands, you have my condolences.


Highlights
"Mesmerized"
"Mists"
"Toxic Breed"


Final Rating
4.7/5 or 94%. 

Hellcrawler - Wastelands


Just taking a look at the album cover, you can immediately tell you're in for some dark and nasty music and that's exactly what Hellcrawler delivers here with their debut album "Wastelands." The best way to describe the sound here would be "deathcrust," but more along the lines of the relentless d-beat style with the occasional death metal tremolo. This isn't your typical Entombed clone though, and they manage to conjure up some wicked crusty madness shrouded in darkness. 

The riffs here (for the most part) are your standard, super-aggressive and fast crust-riddled riffs that get your heart pumping like you just took a shot of adrenalin. These Slovenian bastards really know how to hit the listener with an onslaught of riffs that are sure to cause some whiplash, just take a listen to the songs "Rattlesnake Tavern" and "Motosluts From Hell," I promise your head will bang. But, in the midst of all of the mayhem, Hellcrawler captures some really great atmospheric passages that fit in extremely well with the rest of the music. Anyone who heard Amebix's most recent record, knows they went way overboard with the progressive stuff and  lacked any sort of aggression they once had. On "Wastelands," though, Hellcrawler weaves in just the right amount of progressive, atmospheric moments and it works out perfect. The track "Devastation" in particular, showcases the band's ability to mix the two different styles.  

The other instruments aren't really stand-outs but every one does their job just fine. The vocals are more death metal oriented and they suit the crusty metalpunk music excellently. The bass thumps along and the right pace and the d-beat assault is always present. Overall, I have no complaints about this album. It's a great time and manages to successfully mix in the more atmospheric moments perfectly, not overdoing it, but having the right amount to give the listener the vibe that they are in a wasteland. If you're a fan of old-school death metal or some ripping metalpunk in general, then Hellcrawler is a band that you need to give a listen. 

Be sure to check out and like Hellcrawler on Facebook!

Highlights
"Devastation"
"The Molten Faces Tribe"
"Firefly Powerplant"

Final Rating
4.3/5 or 86%. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Castleaxe - Castlemaster EP


Who would have thought that the legendary speed metallers, ADX would move from France to Salt Lake City, Utah and release a new EP? Oh wait, it's actually Utah's resident traditional/speed metal band Castleaxe. Well, this band sounds a whole hell of a lot like ADX and that is definitely a compliment, because there just aren't enough bands out nowadays who have this particular sound. 

The most noticeable aspect of the music on "Castlemaster" is the vocals. For lack of a better word, they're really quirky. They hit some extremely high notes and are pretty high pitched throughout the EP, with the occasional rough vocals that are more typical of a thrash band. If you've heard ADX before, then you already know what to expect on "Castlemaster," vocally anyway. 

One major highlight on this EP is the lead playing. The melodies are all great and inserted in all of the right places. The melody on the intro to "The Philosopher's Stone" sets up the song nicely, giving it an almost epic feel. The solos are another awesome part of the music on "Castlemaster." The solos that can be found at the beginning of the songs "Eternal Konkwest" and "Ice Troll" are all fantastic. 

Normally, there would be a lot of discussion about riffs, but the riffs here are pretty standard and are focused on being fast, with a lot of melody mixed in. But there really isn't a better way to create music of this genre than that, so no complaints here. This EP is a real fun one and it's great to see bands of this style, so Castleaxe receives the highest recommendation. 

Be sure to check out and like Castleaxe on Facebook!

Highlights
"Ice Troll"
"The Philosopher's Stone"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top 11 Thrash Albums of 2011

So, the year is just about over and 2011 has been a fantastic year for releases in just about every subgenre. This list will focus just on the top thrash albums to come out this year, and this was actually a pretty difficult list to make, but it was made. As always, head on over to the facebook if you would like to voice your opinion about albums I left out or how much you love my list and would like to send me a Christmas card because it's just that amazing. 


#11. Evile - "Five Serpent's Teeth
Coming in at #11 on the list is Evile with their third full-length "Five Serpent's Teeth." My original reaction to this album was a very positive one and I thought it was the band's best offering to date, and I still do. But, this album hasn't grown on me like many others have and that's why it comes in at #11. This album is complete "Master of Puppets" era Metallica worship, and I happen to be a Metallica fan. 


Highlights
"In Dreams of Terror"
"Cult"
"Origin of Oblivion"


#10. Ghoul - Transmission Zero
Yes, I'm aware that this isn't a pure thrash album, but it's thrashy enough. Wanna fight about it? Good. The first time I heard this, I thought that this was Ghoul's weakest effort to date, but I also thought it was still a great record. This album has definitely grown on me more and now I love it probably as much as "Splatterthrash." That's probably just because I'm a huge Ghoul fanboy and they have yet to wrong me. 


Highlights
"The Mark of Voodoo"
"Brain Jerk"
"Tooth and Claw"


#9. Midnight - Satanic Royalty
Coming in at #9 is the black/speed assault from Cleveland's Midnight. Like Ghoul, this isn't a pure thrash album, but I make the rules around here and if I want to put Autopsy's new album on this list I will. Anyway, "Satanic Royalty" is a lot of fun and surprisingly memorable. 


Highlights
"Satanic Royalty"
"You Can't Stop Steel"
"Black Damnation"


#8. Antichrist - Forbidden World
Sweden's Antichrist, is pretty unknown when compared to the modern thrash giants but their debut album "Forbidden World" is just as good, if not better than most other "mainstream" thrash acts. If you're a fan of weird thrash, then you need to check these guys out.


Highlights
"Dark Sorcery"
"Necropolis"
"Victims of the Blade"


#7. Vektor - Outer Isolation
I had especially high hopes for this album, mainly because Vektor's previous album "Black Future" was a modern masterpiece. While this album wasn't as great as the aforementioned "Black Future," "Outer Isolation" still kicks a ton of ass. If you haven't given this band a chance then you had better do it. 


Highlights
"Echoless Chamber"
"Cosmic Cortex"
"Dark Creations, Dead Creators"


#6. Invection - Facet of Aberration
Another relatively unknown newer thrash band, Invection from the Bay Area. Even though they're from the Bay Area, they don't really sound like it. In fact, Invection is one of the more unique sounding thrash bands out today. They've got a lot of melody in their music, but they retain a high level of intensity and keep your headbanging the whole time. 


Highlights
"Derealization"
"Solace In Mediocrity"
"Two Faced Lie"


#5. Insinnerator - Stalagmite of Ice
Another band proving that you don't need to be signed to a major label to have a kickass thrash album. Texas' "Stalagmite of Ice" is a stellar album from start to finish. It's full of awesome riffs and is easily one of the best new wave thrash albums out there. If you haven't checked these guys out, you need to. 


Highlights
"Children of the Cult"
"Stalagmite of Ice"
"Nightmare Theatre"


#4. Havok - Time Is Up
Talk about some intense, catchy thrash. That's pretty much all you need to know about this album. Every song on here is great. The riffs are awesome, the drums are fantastic, the lead work perfect and the vocals are brilliant as well. 


Highlights
"DOA"
"The Cleric"
"No Amnesty"


#3. Toxic Holocaust - Conjure and Command
This has to be the biggest shocker for me. I've never been a big fan of Toxic Holocaust and most of their material just struck me as generic and repetitive, but this record is fucking great. It's their darkest, most intense and all around best album in every possible way. I guarantee you'll be spinning this album for quite some time.


Highlights
"Bitch"
"Red Winter"
"Agony of the Damned"


#2. Deceased - Surreal Overdose
This album is scary good. Every song is different from the next but they all rule extremely hard. A great mix of death metal and thrash with just the right amount of progressive elements. Some very underrated music from a very underrated band. Do yourself a favor and check it out.


Highlights
"Skin Crawling Progress"
"Kindred Assembly"
"Cloned (Day of the Robot)"



#1. Warbringer - Worlds Torn Asunder
Anyone who keeps up with today's thrash bands should know of this band and just how amazing they are. There isn't a single new band out today that can compete with these guys, in my opinion. Everything about this album is stellar, and that's that. 


Highlights
"Shattered Like Glass"
"Echoes From the Void"
"Savagery"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Resurgency/Desolator Split


First thing first, a big thanks to Hellthrasher Productions for introducing me to these two bands.  The split features Greece's own Resurgency who deliver with their solid four track demo "Dark Revival" and Sweden's Desolator with their five track demo "Mass Human Pyre," and both of these bands kick copious amounts of ass. 

Resurgency

If I had to pick one band that Resurgency resembles the most, it would have to be the almighty Vader. The vocals are pretty similar to those of Peter Wiwczarek, they're very heavy and command the band's brand of death metal extremely well. The majority of the riffs on "Dark Revival" are reminiscent of Vader as well, a lot of tremolo bursts backed with fast paced drums and blast beats. The opening track, as well as the best one "Where Despair Dominates" is very heavy on the tremolo stylings, but there is also a great headbanger of a mid-paced riff placed in between the death metal massacre and it works out brilliantly. The song "Psychosis" is a bit slower and heavier than the first two tracks, but the high level of intensity remains. The demo is ended by the sinister instrumental "Atmosphere in Chaos" and that's exactly what the song conveys. A very haunting song that sets an atmosphere, while retaining that explosive sound from the previous tracks. 

Best Songs - "Where Despair Dominates" and "Dark Revival."

Desolator


The "Mass Human Pyre" demo kicks off with the minute intro "Conjuration of the Watcher," a sample that ends with the agonizing screaming of the words "Arise! Arise! Arise!" and the transition into the title track is excellent. The track begins with a slow, muted chugging of the e-string that is later accompanied by some powerchords before turning into some full on death metal mayhem. Since this band plays death metal and they're from Sweden, you would probably expect for them to sound like just another Dismember or Grave ripoff wouldn't you? Well that isn't the case. The guitar tone isn't the chainsaw tone that we all know and love, but it's heavy and dirty and suits Desolator's brand of death metal perfectly. The vocals on here are the real show-stealer though. They sound like a great mix of Ross Dolan (Immolation) and Lars Petrov (Entombed), as they match the heaviness of Entombed but also have an evil kind of edge to them, similar to the vocals of Immolation. Again, these guys aren't your typical Swedeath band, just take a listen to the doom-laden "Feeding Frenzy." While the melodies sound like something you would hear on "Like An Ever Flowing Stream," the song is a bit more evil and dark sounding which pretty much sums up the sound that Desolator brings to the table. 


Best Songs - "Impaled" and "Feeding Frenzy."


So what have we learned today? Well, first that death metal is still alive and well, but you're not going to find it by listening to these tech-wank bands that seem to clog up the mainstream, you need to take a trip to crypts of the underground. And second, both of these bands are fantastic so check them out ASAP. 


Be sure to check out Desolator and Resurgency on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/DesolatorSwe
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Resurgency/150010435055711

Final Rating - 4.4/5 or 88%. 



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Masada - Suffer Mental Decay


It's not uncommon at all nowadays for musicians who played in awesome bands back in the day to get together and form these so called "supergroups." Masada features members from notable bands such as Immolation and Goreaphobia, and they play some heavy, filthy old-school death metal. But trying to get along by using past accolades isn't enough to make a band, you have to bring the goods. Luckily, Masada does and the "Suffer Mental Decay" demo proves it.

There isn't much out of the ordinary here, just dark and vile death metal played with the intent to crush the listeners. The tempo never really strays away from the mid-paced heaviness, but when it does, the listener isn't greeted with a flurry of blast beats, only some sweet tremolo bursts that could slice through flesh ("Suffer Mental Decay"). Accompanying the signature death metal trademarks are some weird, yet very cool riffs and melodies and headbang-inducing riffs to top it all off ("Toxic Unreality"). 

With only two tracks, there isn't much more to be said about Masada's debut demo "Suffer Mental Decay." It serves as a great introduction to the band and leaves a lasting impression that will have fans anxiously awaiting some new material. 

Be sure to check out and like Masada on Facebook!