Hod – Cry and Piss Yourself
A fusion of Mayhem and Satyricon with impulse-driven American turbo death metal like Angelcorpse, Hod brings zero surprises but keeps the power of momentum balanced with an ambiguous lightly dissonant harmony. It suspends belief with single-string riffs which turn opposite views of a note cluster into an ambience, then launches into Gorgoroth-style additive chord progressions that end in obscure suggestions of direction which never materialize. The object of this band appears to be the contrast between mood and adrenaline, and if it does so without any particular deviation from the past, it also does so well. Its strength is this balance, and its weakness is a tendency to fall into variations of patterns that Destruction and Kreator made cliche long ago, but there is potential here for development if the band is able to flesh out its repertoire of riffs without losing the single-mindedness of its songs. Sometimes this band is like listening to someone’s metal collection; for example, the song “Demoralizer” could have come from a Master session outtake. But what’s with the 89-IQ-point, Pantera-inspired title?
Fetid Zombie – Pleasures of the Scalpel
Once upon a time, a lonely genre called death metal thrived, and people liked it because its message “only death is real” cut away the illusion of a world obsessed with social status, self-serving morality and trends. Then, some trendy fratboys put together a band called Cannibal Corpse and made the first real parody of death metal, except that they seemed serious, and people bought it in droves. Soon many imitations burst fully formed out of the garage studios of the world. Fifteen years later, Fetid Zombie skewers that tendency with a parody that takes the most simplistic aspects of death metal and blows them gloriously out of proportion. Guitars ride the downbeat of a chant synchronized to basic drums, hammering out the most linear riff patterns possible, on absurd topics of carefree infection, happy mutilation and joie de mort. It’s unlistenable but delivers a message the death metal community needed to heed long ago.