“Detail shows the face of Stela D which rises 12 ft beside the altar of sacrifice with a death god effigy. The stele represents the 13th ruler of Copán, King Waxaklajun Ub’aah K’awiil (in English, Lord 18 Rabbit), showing half of his face as it was sculpted, and the other half stripped as it would look in Death.” – Akherra Phasmatanás
Article by David Rosales.
Desolation is a full-on ambient project that blends simple and solid harmonic backgrounds, repetitive phrases of a dark coloring, with recorded lamentations both human and otherwise. The aim seems to be to produce the whole array of impressions encapsulated within that single word: desolation. The music’s structure is progressive and appears to be segmented in an episodic manner, which normally implies a loss of continuity between sections. This unwanted effect is expertly avoided by providing smooth transitions, interleaving ambient soundscapes, nature sounds, vocal improvisations, all of which bring variety within a strongly directly concept that never loses content density or a strong sense of purpose. Furthermore, the album being simply distributed between two long tracks reinforces its unity and the requirement that the audience listens to the whole work as if commencing a mental journey, which once begun must be seen through to its very end.
Tags: 2008, Ambient, chorus from the ruins, dark ambient, demo, demos, desolation, review
Violent Opposition presents a one-man grindcore assault that upstages the milquetoast nature of recent underground music. This one musician plays the Jesus out of each instrument with raw pure aggression. The bass and drums are punchy and give the recording a lot of energy and verve. His song names are realist and take a strong stand against empire and against state sponsored violence.
Tags: Grindcore, violent opposition
Article by David Rosales. This review is David’s Spanish translation of his earlier review of the album.
Cuando decimos que el metal llegó a su cúspide en 1994, después de una breve época dorada, y que lo que siguió no fue sino un declive clarísimo, esto no significa que no hubo absolutamente nada bueno. Por definición, lo que le sigue a una cúspide es un declive – aunque la decadencia sólo sea aparente debido a la perspectiva. Aún más importante es aclarar que cuando hablamos de esta manera, nos estamos refiriendo a un promedio a través del género, y no señalando a nadie específicamente. Después de todo, tenemos un Summoning publicando su clásico de clásicos en 1996 y más música grandiosa a finales del siglo. En Centroamérica, siempre un paso (o más bien diez o treinta pasos) atrás del resto del mundo como resultado de procesos históricos que podemos identificar, lo poco que su reducida población, recursos y cultura permitieron desarrollar al metal local, floreció entre los últimos cinco años del siglo pasado.
Tags: Abyssum, Black Metal, dark ambient, Español, Guatemala, review, Thy Call, translation
Ossarium is a simply a bucket of fun. Lots of simple Grave-style 90s death metal riffs with some occasional wacky but catchy keyboards. Abundant driving mid-tempo grooves and a nice, heavy snare drum keep intensity throughout. I dig how the drummer doesn’t overdo it but keeps things nice and steady. (more…)
Tags: 2013, death metal, faith no more, hard rock, onward, ossarium
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.
Tags: 2013, Australia, Black Metal, epic heavy metal, Greek Black Metal, Heavy Metal, nuclear war now! productions, review, Sacriphyx, The Western Front, World War I
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.
Tags: Brazil, death metal, hammerheart records, Rebaelliun, review, The Hell's Decrees
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.
Tags: 2012, Australia, beer metal, Black Metal, death metal, hells headbangers, Invictus Productions, Iron Bonehead Productions, review, Speed Metal, The Escalation, thrash metal, Vomitor, War Metal
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.
Tags: death metal, demo, Garroted, h.p. lovecraft, In the Court of Nyarlahotep, Lovecraft, review, techdeaf, Technical Death Metal
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…
Tags: 2000, Black Metal, Kataxu, poland, Polish Black Metal, review, Roots Thunder
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).
Tags: dark descent, dark descent records, death metal, Doom Metal, Ghoulgotha, modern death metal, modern metal, review, To Starve the Cross