Sacriphyx – The Western Front (2013)

sacriphyx-the-western-front-cd

Article by Lance Viggiano.

Sacriphyx present a bog standard take on Hellenic black metal through the rollicking pulse native to Australia. The strength of the Greek strategy is in its ability to capture a variety of moods leading to a diverse heavy metal experience. The Western Front is a discontinuous concept album based upon World War I wherein its songs do not function as parts of whole; rather, they are self-contained units acting with autonomy in pursuit of the greater conceptual goal that is realized only through individual skirmishes. These compositional deployments reinforce stylistic choices by maximizing an array of emotive impact while minimizing any diminished efficacy of individual motifs as their power is not derived from their position in a greater narrative arc from song to song. Despite proficient execution, Sacriphyx fail to build upon the Mediterranean tactic in any meaningful sense and thus the movements of its elements will be predictable to those familiar.

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Rebaelliun – The Hell’s Decrees (2016)

rebaelliun - the hell's decrees

Article by Corey M.

While 1349 did not quite make good on their promise of delivering a battlefield soundtrack at blistering speeds, Rebaelliun have taken the reigns and driven their blazing chariot into a chaotic realm of vicious blasts and reckless shredding the likes of which many bands have intruded upon only to be cut down due to their inability to survive such an onslaught.

In the past, bands such as Aeon have presented some unworthy offerings at the altar of Deicide, but Rebaelliun diminish those halfhearted efforts even further by adapting their mentor’s tactic of relentlessly aggressive songcraft while actually understanding intuitively their spirit of hatred and hostility. Using the individual musical elements of the band as gears in clockwork, the players rev up the horsepower until the cogs are spraying white-hot sparks.

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Vomitor – The Escalation (2012)

vomitor the escalation

Article by Lance Viggiano.

The Escalation perfects the misunderstood Australian art of Cimmerian metal – a deliberately low-brow affair which has little tangible relationship to the Common Practice Period and therefore easily panned. Vomitor deliberately flaunt rock’s loud and emotive ethos through boorish motifs qualified further by a thin and mid-centric texture executed in characteristically poor-taste. Constructed primarily out of recombination of past forms, The Escalation is a deliberately retro affair which succeeds by forming a singular and immediately identifiable voice. Historical precedence for this identity is found in the work of Spear of Longinus – specifically the first demo contained within Black Sun Society. Vomitor do not present a way forward for metal; instead the entity finely maps a territory which was discovered but left largely unexplored by ancestors who clung to the safety and security of the coastlines looking into an inhospitable thicket which obscures a familiar but nonetheless unique landscape.

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Garroted – In the Court of Nyarlahotep (2016)

garroted in the court of nyarlahotep

Article by David Rosales. Occasionally our staff have differing opinions on unpristine works from upcoming or past their prime bands. The editor’s sobering take on Garroted – In the Court of Nyarlahotep was presented in Sadistic Metal Reviews: Taste the Rainbow!

A modernist acoustic guitar intro, an undefined progressive death metal tirade, cavernous vocals and death-grind guitar tones. An exquisite Old School written all over it, and yet, the young Garroted manage to avoid becoming guides in nostalgia trips. Like Colombian Condor, Garroted takes the tools from the past and forges a future strictly on the loyalty to those traditions.

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Kataxu – Roots Thunder (2000)

kataxu - roots thunder

Article by Anton Rudrick.

Consciously transcendental, voluntarily anachronistic, causing despondent exasperation among the pretentious and the untermensch. Kataxu blends the phantasmagorical reveries of dungeon synth with brief, unidentifiable nods to the nordic triune of atmospheric evil black metal. Kataxu Roots Thunder escapes morphing into ‘flowing black metal‘, layers majestically, layers in hiding, layers hiding, forms and shapes…

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Ghoulgotha – To Starve the Cross (2016)

ghoulgotha - to starve the cross

Article by Corey M.

To Starve the Cross sounds like the result of having chopped up a dozen good death metal songs and pasted the bits back together in such a way to eliminate any sense of continuity. Ghoulgotha is obviously made up of experienced and skilled players including the drummer of Ascended Dead and the guitarist from Father Befouled and Decrepitaph (among several other projects).

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Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness Full Dynamic Range Edition

Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness cover

Morbid Angel recorded what was supposed to be their debut album in 1986. Compositionally excellent and novel, Abominations of Desolation was a Manhattan project of death metal as a truly musically distinct sub-genre. However, band leader Trey Azagthoth and then producer Dave Vincent were unhappy with the recording. Azagthoth quickly fired drummer/vocalist Browning and bassist John Ortega, and shelved the album, which Ortega later released as a bootleg. Vincent and Azagthoth had a point though: Browning’s drumming was shaky and he sounded like a wimp. His drumming lacked power, never making use of blast beats while his vocals could have come out of a whiny fourteen-year-old.

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Morte Macabre – Symphonic Holocaust (1998)

morte macabre - symphonic holocaust

Article by Johan P continuing Death Metal Underground’s progressive rock coverage.

Morte Macabre is a collaboration between members of the Swedish prog revivalist groups Landberk and Anekdoten, who joined forces to create progressive rock that is equal parts beautiful and disturbing. Their only album – Symphonic Holocaust – is a real treat for those who enjoy creepy music in general, especially 1970s Italian horror movie soundtracks. It is a tribute to the darker side of 70s progressive rock, with reference to Italian groups and composers like Celeste, Goblin, Museo Rosenbach, Fabio Frizzi and Riz Ortolani. An explicit Red-era King Crimson influence permeates the album as well.

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