Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained (2017)

There are twelve notes. There are twenty-six letters. We can form them into combinations/patterns. The ones that stay with us are the ones that communicate. This takes us above the level of riff (metal), harmony (jazz/rock), and into the realm of melody, which uses phrase and harmony as means of strengthening the expression of a melody, or a unique combination which resembles the psychological sensation of a certain experience.

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Blood – Inferno (2017)

Continuing the path of a storied band, Inferno mixes re-recorded versions of older tracks with new material in what seems to be a band redefining itself. Blood started as a grindcore band with more of a death metal attitude, then adopted an outlook closer to black metal for its opus O Agios Pethane, but since then has struggled by being caught in the middle of three genres.

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Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained (2017)

It has been twenty years since Formulas Fatal to the Flesh first graced record store shelves, which still existed back then. That comeback album was the strongest statement from Morbid Angel after their initial surge of genre-defining creativity. It may have also been their high-water mark because everything since has shown a downward trajectory.

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Reactor – The Tribunal Above (1991)


Review by Jon Browning.

Reactor came from the caveman, skull-crushing school of death / speed metal hybrids. After the way too long intro, the first track “Deformed Personality” is a riff maze of Slayer and Hoffman brothers style riffing that’s a little repetitive and too verse chorus verse but makes you wish kicking prostrate prisoners’ heads off with a running football kickoff was a widely used execution method. They rip off a Sarcofago riff there so you know that would be some sick ancient Mayans playing basketball with human heads sporting execution stuff.

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Bad Brains – Bad Brains (1982)

Early English and US hardcore punk served as important catalysts in the development of underground metal. During the earliest years of the 1980s, it was hardcore punk and not metal that provided the most violent and intense music within grasp of disgruntled and alienated kids attempting to survive the suburbs of Western Civilization.

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Sterilizer – II (2017)

For decades, musicians have sought the holy grail of combining metal with industrial, but the problem is one of space. Industrial uses space more like rock or jazz, to separate notes, where metal focuses on the continuity of power chord riffs. If the hybrid goes too far to one extreme, it sounds like industrial with fragmented metal riffs; on the other extreme, it loses the machine-like sound of industrial. (more…)

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Disciples of Mockery – Prelude to Apocalypse (1999)


Review contributed to Death Metal Underground by Kyle.

Hey bruh you wouldn’t believe what just happened to me. Ive been squatting in Venice Beach for a few days playing the first Disciples of Mockery record to my crystals. Twenty minutes ago they started projecting all kinds of imagery on the walls warping reality around me. I was having Kaleidoscopic autistic blood visions dude. One of them was the vocalist Craig Pillard and he opened his mouth like he was going to eat my face but he didn’t man he spoke to me.

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Thergothon – Stream From the Heavens (1994)

Murky and obscure like the style itself, a definition of doom metal proves elusive. Proponents of doom metal uphold it as a qualitatively discrete sub genre within metal on the grounds shared set of aesthetic, formal and ideological particularities that binds together a seemingly disparate conglomerate of artists and styles.

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