white shell cassette
Label: Unspeakable Axe Records
Country of Origin: Chile
Style: Death/Thrash Metal
Chromatic Fantasy is an amazing example of a rarity in the extreme metal scene. A bass solo that’s truly remarkable and doesn’t feel at all out of place.
Neuronal Unity showcases many of the most intriguing facets of the traditional thrash scene; bursts of cyclonic speed, diabolical solos, accentuated bass and wicked percussion, all captured in a style that’s top notch, eyebrow raising and worthy of more praise than I can possibly muster.
Strong Death influence is found especially upon Spherical Energy it boasts structure and one particular riff I can’t place that has me rifling through my limited Schuldiner themed collection and searching numerous sites in vain.
Experiment of Existence is a stunning example of how well various influences can interact if crafted and prepared by knowledgeable, talented and determined musicians. If this release is any indication of what’s on offer in the South American Metal scene, then there’s another great reason to dive into a spectrum of output that’s mostly ignored and undiscovered.
Country of Origin: Russia
Style: Black/Symphonic/Folk Metal
Brimming with a style that blends symphonic medieval folk and metal (with blackened menacing hues) on a level as good as heard here is no easy task but in my opinion Wooden Blade nail it. In certain moments throughout I’m reminded of Nocturnal Rites in others Rhapsody and in others still a style more akin to the symphonic brilliance of Nightwish.
The addition of traditional vocals, be they clean, growled or grunted, may have taken this to another level entirely though may have also deteriorated its attraction, as often is the case a vocal style can either make or break an album. However, a well utilized angelic chorus adds to the atmosphere already present, accompany that with well-placed and highly effective dramatic guitar solos and a keyboard aura boasting drama themes and gothic intrigue and you have an overall sound that could well be an excellent audio backdrop for any experienced RPG (Role Playing Game) player and or epic campaign or even game itself, be it console or tabletop based.
Even better still the fiancé likes it, so it’s a win, win!
Ideal for those road trips when you can’t seem to agree on a sound or style to listen to this offers the best of both worlds in a fantastic crafted collection of tracks.
Give this a peek, you can thank me later.
Label: Vic Records
Country of Origin: Sweden
Style: Doom/Sludge/Death Metal
Torturer is an album I’ve somehow let pass by. It opens with, The Thelema Way, a fantastic introduction to the album and the Sordid Flesh style - a definite sludge vibe, dirty, laden with thick groove amidst a mid-tempo pace of a kind not usually found in the common garden death arena. The production is on the raw side but fits the part ‘Gothenburg’, part ‘death, rot and roll’ style perfectly.
The vocals, courtesy of Fredrik Håf, are deliciously evil yet wholly decipherable (somewhat of a rarity in a genre bursting with frog burps, grunts, yelps and bree-bree-brees!) telling of nefarious deeds and predicaments dripping with gore.
Through Vile Infanticides is a great example of the style found throughout Torturer. Addictive riffs and a wicked drum tattoo incite naught but movement.
Rise from the Abyss has a definite South of Heaven (Slayer, duh!) aura to it a sinister presence, ‘doom’ aura if you will, wrapped in rhythms that the listener assumes will only speed up to an eventual crescendo but they never do. A great finale to an album which surprises with its unique nature.
In lieu of expected blast beats and hypersonic speeds are slower rhythms more akin to traditional heavy metal bordering on thrash. There’s no complaints here as I’m digging the shit outta this in its entirety. Torturer is different, that’s for sure, and most certainly not your Granma’s death metal! It works and hits the spot where most other releases do nothing but sound very similar whilst ironically trying their damnedest to stand out from the horde.
Country of Origin: USA
S.N.A.F.U. (an obvious abbreviation with militaristic connotations) proudly boast a heady mixture of styles all of which are employed to incite assorted movement of the spastic, uncontrollable swirling vortex variety. All of the tracks found here are short (barring one barely over the five-minute mark), riotous in their intensity, wax poetic on the ills and corruption found in modern day society. The album contains no frills - a straight to the point objective is obtained with the use of soundbites and rhythms that will get stuck in your head for days to come.
For the most part the style here incorporates the musical elements, and in your face attitude, of punk (mainly vocal wise) accentuated with hard driving riffage often associated with hardcore melodies, occasionally aided by (my favorite ‘accent’) death/grindcore vocal touches by way of throaty grunts.
The Human Infestation is, an oddity on the album, a spoken word piece with a progressive nature and an otherworldly ominous nature. It works well to break up the release. The following track, Dead Before Dawn, is one of my favorites combining a shifting tempo punk feel with a plodding atmospheric dark doom nature. One from None is next and the albums ‘beast’. Surprisingly it stands up exceedingly well for its entirety (a little over a full five minutes, whereas the remainder are mostly under three) offering exciting shifting tempo changes, effective atmosphere and an overall more brutal nature than its companions nestling elsewhere in the track listing.
Favorite tracks; Body of Suffering, Unchained, One from None, Snakes Eating Snakes and the grindcore infused treat; Death Trip.
Highly recommended. What are you waiting for, head over to Bandcamp, name your price and enable these guys to continue to thrive wholly nourished, healthy and brimming with ideas for another release. I can’t wait!
- Cult… the parent without milk!