Country of Origin: Finland
Seriously, my curiosity started to eat away at me could this really be as bad as touted. It was also described as being a mixture of metal, punk, industrial and so on another blurb that only tugged at my interest more. Better yet the artist was virtually begging me not to spend any money on purchasing this collection of tracks, again how bad could it possibly be?
Lo and behold it actually isn’t bad at all, I’ll up the ante and state it’s rather good well worthy of a few coins (no matter the currency) in fact.
Many of the tracks boast more melody and tempo changes than a great many black metal releases to be honest and overall the album suggests many influences ranging from avante garde, to folk, to traditional raw black metal sporting both atmosphere (angelic chants and the like) and blistering guitar riffs. If I were to mention an act ofghost reminds me of more than anyone else it’s Impaled Nazarene, a band who have more than experimented with dark tunage throughout their career and rarely used other than vocals in their ‘native tongue’.
Far from being even close to shit this is a release that warrants respect especially originating from a one-man outfit perspective.
Call it what you will it’s evil as all hell, catchy and damn pleasing to the ears.
Label: Black Lion Productions
Country of Origin: Sweden
Released: Digital- January/25/2016
(physical CD- March/31/2016)
Unlike many other black releases this album keeps a swift pace it rarely drops into melancholic slow paced territory preferring instead to keep the listener on their toes (literally) by providing exciting whirlwind riffs and unpredictable song structures. Admittedly it’s very hard to sit still and concentrate on anything else with the eminence of this release bouncing around within the confines of your skull.
Hymnens… is a rare example of the former. It drips evil, is slower in pace and is as menacing as the Grim Reaper himself tapping you on the shoulder. Aided by ‘native tongue’ lyrics it trumps the remainder of the album in regards to a more traditional ‘black metal’ vibe.
As a whole the album is quite remarkable and pleasingly melodic. It flows especially well and brings to mind other blackened swift paced masterpieces with classical auras from within the same genre.
In short if you’re willing to take the leap into more of an atmospheric genre of metal this is a brilliant place from which to jump. Be warned though this is an excellent example of the blistering paced end of the same shadow draped arena it might be hard to know where to turn next for another release bearing the same quality.
Label: Satanath Records
Country of Origin: Russia
Bestial Deform doesn’t however disappoint. In Maxillis Bestia sets the tone a style some might consider somewhat akin to (mid-career) Morbid Angel in feel. This is understandable as intricate other-worldly riffs (or shall I say underworld- like?) and infernally constructed guitar passages, ‘peaks and valleys’, rather than an all-out pummeling fretboard (insane speed) assault caress the listener’s senses. This release has the power to transport the audience back many a year to the heyday of an act who set many a trend, left a plethora of avenues of influence, then abruptly disappeared only then to reappear cloaked in something altogether different.
Kirill Ulanenkov (gotta’ love those villain-esque Eastern bloc names) delivers a vocal accompaniment in much the same manner (more so Steve Tucker than David Vincent IMO) albeit a style that also leans towards that of Dallas Toler-Wade’s (Nile).
Overall something I wasn’t expecting in the slightest, a great find in fact, a style that’s familiar, well crafted, ancient yet refined and altogether exquisitely executed.
Fans of Morbid Angel and the diabolic rejoice for there’s a new savior on the horizon. This is an album I am proud to recommend…a must listen at the very least!
Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records
Country of Origin: Greece
Epic is a very simple way to express only a small portion of what Immensity offer. Much like an eager to please pizza delivery guy they bring so much more to the doorstep, in this case our ears.
It would be very easy for me to merely mention Immensity’s similarity to other acts (I usually employ this tactic) for instance I could liken their fluid mournful and rather brilliant beautiful soundscapes to that of Swallow the Sun or October Tide (and I just did). Or I could mention their diverse vocal techniques and liken them to that of those utilized by My Dying Bride, Novembers Doom or Amorphis or a handful of other highly successful doom acts. It wouldn’t be going far enough though; some things are admittedly much harder to describe and put into words than others.
In short, for fear of running over into the realm of over analytical diarrhea, mentioning too many bands, wearing my fingertips down to nubs in my current state of auditory bliss induced excitement, this is…damn good!
Mesmerizing in a single word. Emotionally majestic to employ more than one I can’t however conjure a Congo line of others to do this justice.
A mere 5/5 rating doesn’t even come close.
Doom/death call this what you will but include the word amazing, give it a listen you can thank the scribblin’ crew later.
Note of interest; Hypnotic Dirge Records is based in Canada they are an independent non-profit label and offer downloads based on a donation basis.
Show them your support and while you do so discover an exciting slew of new refreshing diverse talent.
Label: Rock of Angel Records
Country of Origin: Greece
Flowing riffs and soaring solos add to the albums overall appeal. Favorite track the blistering paced M.I.P (Mind in Panic). Give this a peek if you enjoy varied European thrash highlights from the past twenty years.
Label: Underground Movement
Country of Origin: Ireland
The music brings to mind Cannibal Corpse (through The Bleeding to modern day) in its technicality, menacing vibe and riff stylings though the vocals aren’t quite as harsh they still fit to a tee, a very bloodied tee it goes without mentioning, but then there’s more. A certain flair that sets them apart from the ‘common garden’ death act. Audio soundbites are provided as suitable introductions but the music speaks for itself, very eloquently needing no introduction, it’s just that good!
Death that stands out from the pack, a fantastic way to discover the utter brilliance, head banging madness and technical shredding nature of Warpath.
Label: Seventh Dagger Records
Country of Origin: USA
Fantastic ‘beatdown’ and abrupt tempo change passages make this an album that deserves a peek.
Label: Earache Records
Country of Origin: UK
1-4 Mass Appeal Madness EP (1991)
5-7 Suffer the Children EP (1990)
8-13 Mentally Murdered EP (1989)
14-19 Napalm Death/S.O.B. Split 7" (1989)
Death by Manipulation however was the first album to have me believe that one didn’t have to sacrifice melody and discernable rhythm for the sake of brutality. Take for example Pride Assassin it still remains one of my favorite tracks by Napalm happy to boast melody and is a coach containing a squad of Russian weightlifters heavy. Then we have Suffer the Children (I can’t recall the amount of times I tried to learn the riffs in this track only to give up exasperated and pissed off at my own pitiful attempts) another track that is neck snappin’ catchy then there’s Siege of Power a whirling tornado of riffs that doesn’t let up leaving the listener grinning ear to ear. That’s only the first handful of tracks to be found here.
Lee Dorrian has vocal duties partway through this release, tracks 8 through 19, the first track Rise Above sounds eerily similar to Terrorizer’s After World Obliteration (released the same year) courtesy of a guitarist found in both bands; Jesse Pintado (RIP). Barney and Lee’s vocal styles are quite different as is Napalm’s style containing each person, it transformed steadily from (a coined phrase) grindcore to more of a brutal death as Barney gained more of a foothold.
Lee’s vocal portion of this collection has a rawer production, a more chaotic vibe, a handful of tracks so short that if you blinked you’d miss them and a musical style more in alignment with the very origins of the extreme metal (which many rightfully believe Napalm had a huge hand in creating) scene rather than the more polished rhythm and structure found in later Napalm’s efforts.
Regardless of style this entire collection is enjoyable and a fantastic cornucopia displaying vividly just how far this legendary act have travelled in so short a time span. Literally light years away from where they stand and what they record today near thirty years on.
Death by Manipulation remains a monument for anyone to place their very first footstep of discovery upon an act who have arguably forged the way ahead for many (most) acts throughout the entire and diverse spectrum of genres that embody all that metal has to offer to this day.