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New "Old School Death Metal"

New "Old School Death Metal"
June 16, 2011, 05:47:12 PM
Re: Disma, Dead Congregation, Funebrarum, Ignivomous, Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum, Blaspherian, etc.

I'm glad these guys know how to write coherent songs, don't showboat their production/technical ability, and hold the better stuff of the 80s and early 90s in high regard, but in most cases I'm still left wanting more. It's been said elsewhere, but none of these bands play with the same of sense of wonder, or take the same risks the originators did. Listening to Immolation's song "Dawn of Possession" song, the melodic hammered lead-in to Vigna's solo strikes me as a beautiful, but somewhat awkward departure from music that otherwise sounds fairly close to straightforward DM. The daring of its inclusion is something that may be lost to newer artists, because of the way it transcends the fixed concept they have of the old school, while remaining musical and not a mere novelty ("grindcore with flutes").

Questions: Does anyone else feel dissatisfied with the above artists, or related bands (Mefitic, Vasaeleth, Encoffinated... [insert list here])? Will they manage to grow and successfully develop their sound beyond what they knowingly emulate, or are they destined to amass discographies which, at best, successfully rehash a paradigm which seems to have been (basically) already fully explored?

(As an aside, the above bands I'm most impressed with are Cruciamentum and Ignivomous, and I'm looking forward to the new Disma.)

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
June 16, 2011, 06:56:30 PM
The Vault of Membros gave me chills the first time I sat down and really listened to it. Very much looking forward to their LP, hoping it maintains just as much intricate subtlety. Convocation of Crawling Chaos was good, but it seems like the kind of thing that will wear off significantly over time - the slower "epic" portion of "Rotten Flesh Crucifix" is that demo's definite highlight. Grave Miasma and Ignivomous bored the shit out of me. Funebrarum's first was fine, their latest was meh. Blaspherian's first LP gets better and better every time I listen to it, it's analogous to Engram (and, on that note, not many other metal albums) in that it incredibly understates its own quality. Dead Congregation is very good, but like you said, a bit dissatisfying in the end.

They all are to some degree, if your aim in seeking these bands' works out is to find stuff that is both as good and as novel as the originating classics were. Of course you're going to be disappointed in that case. But a listen to Sepultura's Morbid Visions earlier today reminded me just how unimportant novelty has become once death metal came to the stage. That album would be boring to anyone who isn't already looking for what it is, because not only does every moment bear the same aesthetic(already a long-standing tradition in metal albums), but in fact every single riff is built from the same basic format. Yet it works twofold; it creates a cohesion within the album, and works to emphasize composition over instrumental ability, production, consonance, emotion, or whatever else. The bands mentioned here are essentially doing the same thing, and with that in mind it's hard to say they're disappointing. It's also for that reason I'd put Blaspherian and Disma above the others; they excel in forming structure and leaving everything else to wither away.
HE WHO REAPS STORMS, SOWS WINDS. HE WHO SOWS WINDS, REAPS STORMS.

"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart."
-Ecclesiastes 7:2

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
June 16, 2011, 11:39:51 PM
I find Dead Congregation dissatisfying in NO way! I think "Graves..." is a brilliant album start to finish, and stands well alongside many of the classics - it captures that otf-elusive atmosphere and "vibe" of the old-school almost perfectly.

Actually, of all those, I find Ignivomous the least exciting, though truth be told, I still enjoy their work.

I am anticipating the new Disma like nothing else I expect to hear this year - or perhaps for some time.

I don't know that anything "old-school" can ever be sensibly accused of breaking new ground or being daring, etc. But to me, that isn't necessarily important either. I still adore Schumann, despite sometimes hearing a flood of Beethoven woven therein.

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
June 17, 2011, 12:48:52 AM
I find Dead Congregation dissatisfying in NO way! I think "Graves..." is a brilliant album start to finish, and stands well alongside many of the classics - it captures that otf-elusive atmosphere and "vibe" of the old-school almost perfectly.

Actually, of all those, I find Ignivomous the least exciting, though truth be told, I still enjoy their work.

I don't know that anything "old-school" can ever be sensibly accused of breaking new ground or being daring, etc. But to me, that isn't necessarily important either. I still adore Schumann, despite sometimes hearing a flood of Beethoven woven therein.

To be fair, I haven't had the time to engage in quality listening sessions for all of the bands mentioned / relevant, and I'm sure that with regards to each band's craft and composition, many other users have better tastes within this emerging genre. My concern was more with regards to aesthetic and cultural context.

Perhaps a good re-presentation of the OP would just be the line
Quote
Will they manage to grow and successfully develop their sound beyond what they knowingly emulate, or are they destined to amass discographies which, at best, successfully rehash a paradigm which seems to have been (basically) already fully explored?

Although it's black metal, I think Inquisition's last few suggest that it's possible to be effectively creative while still working within a "traditional" aesthetic, even though the composition could use a little work. Maybe my ear for this recent death metal is not well-developed, and there are subtler patterns in the music that I'm missing.

I'd also be very interested in hearing more about this phenomenon, which I don't think I understand:
Quote
[Blaspherian's first LP is] analogous to Engram (and, on that note, not many other metal albums) in that it incredibly understates its own quality

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
June 17, 2011, 04:51:56 AM
I'd give Disma's three track release a high B. It is barred from A status only insofar as it does come across as something as an exercise in 'form'. I have high hopes for their upcoming release. Best case scenario, their experimentation 'comes together' and allows them to imbue their 'formal' exercises with essence. Worst case scenario is that it's a B album.

Grave Miasma's material gets an A from me. Seamless fusion of black and death metal, either borrowing from Demoncy or taking autocthonous inspiration from the same ideas. Very powerful, dark music with a minimum of filler.

All of those other bands just get flat Bs or in some cases high Cs from me, though I haven't heard Ignivomous or Cruciamentum. I have to say that I have the same general complaints about this "new wave" of Old School Death metal that the original poster has. They largely miss the mark by mimicking style, as though it was JUST style that made the classics great. They don't usually have a good sense of composition.

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
June 17, 2011, 11:53:35 PM
One more notable contributor to the traditional DM revival would be War Master, a band primarily influenced by early-/mid-era Bolt Thrower.
Their Chapel of the Apocalypse demo is very solid, even if nothing really special.

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
June 18, 2011, 03:03:52 AM
Re: Disma, Dead Congregation, Funebrarum, Ignivomous, Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum, Blaspherian, etc.

Blaspherian is good. Cruciamentum has promise. Disma is interesting but unfinished. The others didn't do it for me.

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
June 18, 2011, 08:46:33 PM
Problem is most of these bands are little more than an exercise in style. I picked up Vasaeleth's 'Crypt Born and Tethered to Ruin' on a whim last year and while aesthetically everything is there, all the songs (possibly save 'Gateway to the Cemetery of Being') are just fucking boring.

Vasaeleth, Nominon, Encoffination, Decrepitaph, Necrovation, Father Befouled, etc... I think it's unlikely any of these projects will step out of the shadow of their influences. dm;wr


Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
June 19, 2011, 09:30:06 PM
Re: Disma, Dead Congregation, Funebrarum, Ignivomous, Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum, Blaspherian, etc.

Blaspherian is good. Cruciamentum has promise. Disma is interesting but unfinished. The others didn't do it for me.

In what way, specifically, does Blaspherian stand out from that broader group? How are they any better/different than say,  a Father Befouled?
(For what it's worth, I ask this as a big fan of the band) 




Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
June 21, 2011, 05:20:36 PM
I've heard several times on this forum that Father Befouled is the best of all these Incantatiophiles. That could very well be, but it hasn't clicked with me yet. I'm still planning on giving it more time to sink in, at some point. But the main reason I (and, I suspect, others) haven't mentioned it so far is simply that I was replying to the OP, which didn't mention it.

I'd also be very interested in hearing more about this phenomenon, which I don't think I understand:
Quote
[Blaspherian's first LP is] analogous to Engram (and, on that note, not many other metal albums) in that it incredibly understates its own quality

Between those two albums, Infernal Warriors of Death is a purer example of the phenomenon, so I'm going to focus on it in explaining what I meant. The previous reference to Morbid Visions was a central point, in that the album has no frills whatsoever. It is unerringly consistent in style, to such a degree that anyone who doesn't seek out composition first and foremost may perceive that unwavering uniformity as a fault. But this highlights the composition itself, by leaving nothing else to focus on. And that composition is excellent - the title track may be the most obvious example, in that it spends the majority of its length undulating over and under an unfinished idea; it sounds OK, but doesn't have any finality. But this is used towards a great end, as the song then finishes off with a single, ridiculously heavy riff that shatters all that previous open-endedness into a dense singularity. The closest thing the album has to frills is one solo (that I can recall) and a smattering of lead breaks - contrary to what many reviewers have stated, the album does have them. The most obvious one is in "Lies of the Cross". But even these are subtle; they exist as nothing more than an accentuation of the rhythm riffs' highest (or, in some songs, lowest) notes, thus giving them an added emphatic weight as opposed to becoming a central point of interest themselves. In fact, throughout the majority of the album, the aesthetic space that would normally be taken by the chromatic soloing so common in death metal is usually instead filled by nothing more than notes that are placed higher up on the scale than the rest of the surrounding melodic phrase. These are all very subtle details but once you sit down and pay attention closely enough they become very clear. The reason I say Engram has less of this aspect is because of the bagpipes in the opening track, and the long Tangerine Dream-meets-Dead Can Dance metal electroritual final track - still far less divergent from the album's overall aesthetic than the stuff in most metal albums, so it's really just a matter of degree. Engram also shares the property with Infernal Warriors of Death of being, on the surface, a very typical album for its style. There's nothing that sets them apart from the rest of their respective genres on a surface level, but there's something different in their spirit that is really difficult for me to put a thumb on and describe in words, but in listening to it is clear as day.
HE WHO REAPS STORMS, SOWS WINDS. HE WHO SOWS WINDS, REAPS STORMS.

"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart."
-Ecclesiastes 7:2

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
April 04, 2012, 10:26:09 PM
To update the discussion on these bands :

The new Disma is incredible. I let a bad rip throw me temporarily. My loss.

Cruciamentum's new EP was at first listen a tremendous let down. A lot of it is an issue with the guitar tone and production style as it seems to sink deeper into the Incantation-worship instead of rising above it. I gave it more chances and it is actually a great release but not nearly to the standard of Convocation of Crawling Chaos. Convocation is the best three song release since I don't know when, and on par with any classic EP. Much of the problem with Engulfed isn't compositional as much as tone and feel, which is less cavernous and majestic, and more earthen and direct. Cruciamentum still have the chance to record a landmark piece. I just hope they realize they don't have anything to gain by making the mix resemble Incantation. I expect the next one to sound more like Cruciamentum again.

Necros Christos' new shit is bomb. It took me a second to warm up to it because it is more death metal in tone and less crawly. However, they did all they could have in the style found on Triune Impurity Rites, thus I came to appreciate the new one fleshing out their range. This is still very much Necros Christos but it expands variation between metal songs. And as far as the neo-classical interludes go, those are improved as well. It may actually be better than Triune Impurity Rites as a whole album, though I find the most memorable single songs were still from that album.

The new Ignivomous is very much in the vein of their first one, but refined. A very satisfying listen. No issue with that one at all. But I never regarded this band as much as I did the above three.

The new Goreaphobia is truly kick ass. I had a friend tell me it was too black metal and I could see what he was talking about a song or so in, but much like Mortal Repulsion, the album continues to reveal itself all the way through. Goreaphobia purposely hide their best shit deep in the album.
Lettin' nillas know.

I hope our aryan overlords will emerge form their l secret base below antartica and wipe all of those under 500 of IQ And don't have the ability to mindtravel into the Xerces Galaxy.

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
April 05, 2012, 02:18:43 AM
Re: Disma, Dead Congregation, Funebrarum, Ignivomous, Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum, Blaspherian, etc.

VERY impressed with the last Cruciamentum MLP - that really hit home for me in the best possible way.

really dig Dead Congregation and Ignivomous a lot, and Embrace of Thorns too. Does Portal get lumped in here?

Antediluvian are probably the best of the lot for me. That las album was fucking unreal.

One to watch is Adversarial. Shitty production on the first LP but seeing them live this winter was unbelievable. If the covers on the MLP they did are any indication, their next stuff is going to really knock some heads off.....

Couldn't get into Disma or Funebarum whatsoever, definitely not doing it for me.

I guess what I'm getting at is that when its done well it's great, but when it's generic riffs or lifeless production, forget it... just like doom metal, this shit seems really easy to play but is really hard to pull off well.

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
April 05, 2012, 02:59:34 AM


Does this come from another thread or did you make the same error I have occasionally made when shortening a quote?

EDIT : Yes, it did, because quoting you caused the same error in my post.

Antediluvian and Diocletian I haven't given enough repeated listens to make comments on. Maybe this exposes the flaws in this genre and my method of grading these bands, but I came to them last in the order, so they were judged a little harsher. Ideally, I should be able to listen to them all 100% objectively and pick out which are the best, but I heard Cruciamentum, Vasaeleth and Ignivomous first, and got into them significantly before finding Father Befouled and some of these others, so my perspective was already tainted. Father Befouled I have given a lot of listens, and it just didn't resonate with me like Ignivomous and Vasaeleth did. Then again, I have to confess Dead Congregation I heard well after some of these other bands came across my radar as well, and they shot to the top of the order for me.

I bet that is true for about everyone posting on these bands round here. Every single one of them someone has identified as the one band they dig the most out of this style, and I imagine it was probably one of the first ones they heard in this pile.

Portal I have tried to get into a few times, and while they've just been a bit too weird for my exclusive, elitist hardline tastes, I know they're at least trying something. There are elements present I do like. Impetuous Ritual is Portal members playing stuff that fits more into this specific vein, and is quite awesome.  

No one ever talks about Lie in Ruins, which sucks, because Swallowed by the Void is fucking brilliant.
Lettin' nillas know.

I hope our aryan overlords will emerge form their l secret base below antartica and wipe all of those under 500 of IQ And don't have the ability to mindtravel into the Xerces Galaxy.

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
April 05, 2012, 03:19:31 AM
After letting it all sink in, my conclusion is that Grave Miasma still tops all of these other bands. I think that The Exalted Emanation is one of the best metal albums of the last decade. Where most of them ultimately come off like a kind of glorified ambient sort of metal (all aesthetic, tone, etc, no real syntax to speak of), The Exalted Emanation comes across as the development and conclusion of a thought. And it's a good thought.

Not that all that other stuff is bad. A lot of potential. High B scores. And Impetuous Ritual is like Portal with substance. Verdict is still out on its lasting value, though.

Re: New "Old School Death Metal"
April 05, 2012, 03:40:39 AM
After letting it all sink in, my conclusion is that Grave Miasma still tops all of these other bands. I think that The Exalted Emanation is one of the best metal albums of the last decade. Where most of them ultimately come off like a kind of glorified ambient sort of metal (all aesthetic, tone, etc, no real syntax to speak of), The Exalted Emanation comes across as the development and conclusion of a thought. And it's a good thought.

Not that all that other stuff is bad. A lot of potential. High B scores. And Impetuous Ritual is like Portal with substance. Verdict is still out on its lasting value, though.

I agree on Grave Miasma somewhat but I find that fits Cruciamentum, especially on their first one, even more. A full album just like Convocation would probably be one of my favorite releases ever honestly.
Lettin' nillas know.

I hope our aryan overlords will emerge form their l secret base below antartica and wipe all of those under 500 of IQ And don't have the ability to mindtravel into the Xerces Galaxy.