Metal Curmudgeon: Bolt Thrower’s Blitzkrieg Halts

bolt thrower - realm of chaos cover

Starting in the mid to late Eighties, many of the originators of death and black metal started to commercialize their music into straight speed metal for mass appeal to a bar show, beer metal audience; social concert goers in the uniforms of leather jackets, band tees, and high tops who treated shows as a time to socialize and shoot the shit with their friends while listening to typical bands that never challenged their musical preconceptions or startled them away from their ritualized moshing. Just a few years prior, many of these types would’ve been the same idiots seen in Heavy Metal Parking Lot. While most of their peers moved on from Judas Priest to Motley Crue and Guns ‘n’ Roses, many listened to what was considered an “acceptable” fusion of heavy metal and radio rock played by groups like post-Ride the Lightning Metallica, Anthrax, and Testament.

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Goatcraft – Yersinia Pestis (2016)

goatcraft - yersinia pestis

Article by Lance Viggiano.

Arpeggiated minor chord melancholy culled from or composed during belligerent improvisational tirades given body by a sluggish left hand approximating power chords to provide the work a lattice to the traditions of metal. Yersinia Pestis abstains from its predecessor’s thematic coherence – an accident of writing what were essentially cover songs of a famous painter – to make marked but mishandled improvements in its individual presentations through tuneful reprisals of established Goatcraft trademarks. The dependence upon staccato and arpeggio retain the artist’s characteristic stiffness in execution which blemishes through its brutishness.

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Initial Impressions of Serpent Ascending – Ananku

serpent ascending - ananku cover

Article by Anton Rudrick.

Following a tradition of Finnish death metal, Serpent Ascending first proved its allegiance to the old stream of thought on The Enigma Unsettled. The project stood out as possessing that rare gift that grants vision past forms and into the value therein encased as dormant power, codified, awaiting a worthy hero who can pull the Sword from the Stone. While using techniques and musical structures that are well-known, interesting counterpoint and chant-like melodies can be seen in that first album, inserting them in between more conservative power metal riffs that were eerie enough to belong to occult death metal but also displayed a penchant for memorable phrases. Five years have elapsed since then, and several Desecresy albums have seen the definition and reaffirmation of that band into a distinctly esoteric style. Many were keenly expectant upon the future of Serpent Ascending.

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Septic Flesh – Esoptron (1995)

septic flesh - esoptron

Article contributed to Death Metal Underground by Anton Rudrick.

Septic Flesh have always oscillated between dark goth rock and simple death metal. Esoptron1 strode past both genres with expressive ambient interludes and enveloping everything in arcane rock akin to Fields of the Nephilim, reorienting Septic Flesh’s sound towards a suitable incarnation of their music’s abstract themes.

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Undead – Blood Enemy

undead_-_blood_enemy

This one arrived in the mail some time ago. Apparently, it got held up in US Customs because our address is on the terrorist watch list. Looking beneath the skin, which is tasty gore-dripping old school death metal, this 7″ EP in fact owes its origins to the speed/death crossover bands of the late 1980s, sounding like a cross between Merciless and Sadistic Intent with Swedish death metal style elegant riffs concluding each song.

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Full Sail Brewing Company – Session Premium Lager

session premium lager

When I ran to the liquor store hoping to pick up a reasonable beer to wash the taste of the horrible Sam Adam Foreskin Spiced Latte out of my mouth, this called out to me as something that probably would taste akin at least to a Michelob, Budweiser’s less diabetic brother. Session Premium Lager is your typical American lager but done well. I smell lemony hops and Ritz crackers. Strong malts almost overpower the taste but it finishes semi-dry. This is a dangerously drinkable beer. A man with a twelve-pack is akin to a seven year old fat kid with a bag of Pepperidge Farm cookies; they’re going to be mostly gone by the end of the night. There’s nothing truly unique to make Session Premium Lager worth seeking out though. There are better American and European lagers, there are more flavorful beers, there is nothing actually memorable in these grenade bottles but it doesn’t do anything wrong and it isn’t watered down for 22 year olds in cargo shorts.

Quality: 3/5
Purchase: 3/5

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