Sadistic Metal Reviews: Drinking the Blood of the Innocent

Everything that rises must converge with the Earth, whereas that which remains at the earthy level can endure for many eras if not forever like other aspects of nature. In my view, our natural world produced us so that we would take its other plants and creatures to new planets.

However, in human affairs we experience a constant up-and-down. A trend rises, then its defects are seen, and we keep the parts that have not failed, building up a great snowball of hacks with little organization because our power structures and pop culture are afraid of decisive acts.

Like both Leftism and Conservatism, metal reached an endpoint in the postmodern age: it said what it wanted to, going from hippies who wanted to reach the dark side and saw human folly as leading us into an abyss (a very Victorian view from Black Sabbath) to a genre dedicated to the evil in man as being morally superior to Abrahamic “good.”

If rock ‘n roll had a party attitude of “be good to everyone,” metal came back with hard realism and said “good to the good, and bad to the bad.” That included illusions: Christianity, peace, love, happiness, the consumerist lifestyle, socialist compassion, yuppies, and bourgeois apathy.

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?

When your gods and ideals fail to refer to reality, they have become inverted. Instead of reflecting reality, they reflect the projections and desires of the audience, which inverts them because now they focus on fears instead of aspirations.

Inverted gods do not last long because they are no longer an aid to life but an impediment. Metal, if nothing else, says that life should be enjoyed because death, war, disease, murder, and darkness are never far away.

But with the rise of black metal, metal had a few glorious years of quality and then inverted itself. Everyone wanted to participate with bedroom bands, trends, and supporting their friends and their low-quality music.

Democracy/egotism won again. Most people wanted low quality non-controversial music with simple messages that let everyone participate. In doing so, they missed the point of metal: only the most realistic views lead to sanity and from that, we discover real life, including real pleasure.

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Master – The Witch Hunt: properly a form of proto-death, since it sticks to punk and heavy blues structures with death metal inspired riffs, Master continues the legacy here with the kind of tight playing that inspired On the Seventh Day… in a tightly-QA’d album which features simple riffs which are mostly tremolo of wide whole scale leaps and are less structural than they are pure rhythm, taking a different approach to what war metal did with chromatic run-on sentences. Master remains about where it was in the late 1990s but its study habits have improved such that quality is more consistent and songs have more self-attraction than papaya oatmeal unlike most “death metal” these days.

Karonte / Bloody Brotherhood – Alliance for Death Domination: Karonte hits with hard rock and heavy metal riffs dressed up with death metal pacing, then falls into vocal-driven chanting verses, using the modern metal style of varying up the riff for a prechorus, but ultimately will hammer you into oblivion through alternating catchy riffs and trudging aimlessness; Bloody Brotherhood falls into the guitar practice bands category who alternate different types of riffs that sound cool but do not connect up, so you get lots of chanted stuff with broad intervals inbetween and when the song ends it is like hearing a sentence in another language spoken backward into a urinal.

BIS-NTE – Broken: if you mix nü-metal and pretentious Ren Faire medievalism you get this kind of smary carny emotional music with lots of melody and female vocals because that pleases the NEET audience, but like the doom metal explosion of the 1990s, it can focus on only pure emotions of melancholy, depression, and pretense which makes it completely pointless as a listening experience, sort of like listening to wallpaper depicting suicides by anonymous NEETs in college towns across America.

Solitude Aeturnus – Alone: if you like doom metal with Led Zeppelin manwaif vocals, you doubtless know of this band who sit on the intersection between Black Sabbath and AC/DC but at a glacial pace, working off known hard rock and heavy metal riff archetypes with an awareness of tonal position that shows an influence of progressive rock without demonstrating it with showy technique, powered by noodly pentatonic leads that work mostly as a powerful internal rhythm; expect nothing groundbreaking or mystical, but a solid maintenance of mood in classic heavy rock songs which avoid the extraneous and hold together consistently even within a narrow range of emotions.

Endlyset – Beholders: “atmospheric black metal” seems to have become shorthand for “directionless black metal”; here you will find the old riffs in a play for nostalgia and then some speed metal stomping and old heavy metal riffs recycled into what seem to be designed as pivotal moments in song, but at the end of the day, you will mostly find boredom as you flog over the same old paths looking for the few moments of sanity you could get from a Darkthrone album.

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More for the stupefying influence of Pantera:

Lupas said the self-proclaimed “Cowboys From Hell,” Crawford, 16, and David Lee Hanley, 19, “acted in concert” when they robbed, shot and killed Algar and Jose Molina in Hollenback Township on July 19, 1999. That, he said, is enough to convict Crawford of first-degree murder.

And the power of saying NO to trends even if they last two thousand years:

I had to explain to them that that’s how I feel. I remember I was quoting Johann Edlund from Tiamat. In one of his interviews, he was saying, ‘Well, this inverted cross gives me power, gives me strength to fight with the obstacles and with difficulties I faced in everyday basis.’ It was really enlightening to me back then.

In my view, religions describe something that is mostly likely true, but they express it through metaphor and culture. No internationalist religion — shared between cultures — will be anything more than a distortion, especially since their first tenet seems to be universalism or the fundamental similarity of every human. Nature does not work that way. Religion is either consistent with nature or a human fantasy.

The other day I saw a great troll. On an exercise video, someone commented, “I have AIDS and no legs, and this exercise really helped me.” I think this is the future of trolling: affirm the Regime in such an absurd extremism that no one can tell if you are serious but feel guilty for not supporting you. Troll them in and make them reveal their adulation of their servitude. It was the highest-upvoted comment on the video.

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Kreator – Hate Über Alles: established bands die of entropy, meaning that they have to uphold their past work while injecting novelty, which means you get an ad hoc album comprised of whatever floated across their desks and read on their iPads before they went into the studio to wheeze out another produkt to keep the enterprise afloat, sort of like a four-thousand page bill in the US Congress, and so you get symbolic recombination chaos based around the drums and vocals with guitars hammering out old riff formats in order to make you think you enjoyed listening to this fruit salad because it reminds you of the last time Kreator was relevant back when Clinton was in office.

Desecrated Grounds – Lord of Insects: basic speed metal with death metal vocals, this recalls the era when Exodus and Testament ruled, and stitches together basically unrelated riffs to keep a sense of contrast but hammers them with the need to follow a vocal line, which means a voice ranting at you while guitars and drums try to be good friends of a drunk person and follow along with whatever they can use to fill space, throwing in some quality riffs but ultimately not adding up to much other than following an established path of speed metal with death metal aesthetics (but amazing cover art).

Absurd – Grabgesang: metal verses and RAC choruses in formulaic patterns make for music that you can nod your head to if the “message” appeals, especially if you are drinking some of this great pilsener, or maybe you would prefer the lager, while all the boys talk about how the untermenschen took over the world by being evil and stupid, bored — which is too bad because early Absurd took a unique approach with its deliberate immaturism and desire to expand black metal into some kind of war epic — and drunk but mostly we just keep nodding, ranting, and drinking while listening to music that would have bored Hitler into a gypsy homosexual threesome followed by suicide.

Morbific – Squirm Beyond the Mortal Realm: reminds me of later Adramalech because the band cannot quite get a rhythm going between phrases, so it is very choppy as compositions, even if parts are quite great. Makes it awkward and onerous as a listen even if more promising than a lot of what is out there, basically some good inspirations and insights stitched together like Frankenstein’s monster with bouncy speed metal rhythms that at this point make me want to burn my acid-washed jeans and teased bouffant hairdo on top of an Atari 2600 and all other 1980s nostalgia.

Verberis – Adumbration of the Veiled Logos: black metal incorporating hermetic mysticism was cool when Averse Sefira did it but now has become another form of hipster pretense of smarter-than-thou — obscuring the fact that most arthouse black metal has no core, no center, no goal, and no point to existing — but in this case it disguises the core of this album as “post-metal” or ambient picking and lead melodies that tend to be of a few very similar licks, producing a sense of atmosphere rather than atmosphere itself, mixed in with charging black metal like Dimmu Borgir with the keyboards removed, showing why there needs to be all this drama about being deep to deflect from the fact that this is mainstream produkt stamped underground and reconstituted with extra arugula and quinoa to appeal to a new generation of lost suburban angsthorses.

Cenotaph – Tenebrous Apparitions/The Eternal Disgrace: this band showed a way forward by writing complex interactions between riffs within the old school stream-of-power chords method without going full Bruckner or into the note-moving fill-centric method of war metal, dropping in just enough of Southern European style rhythm to give these songs a doom metal aesthetic with speed metal technique, here seen in its infancy as the parts coalesced into what became one of the strongest voices for interesting old school metal, building both on Incantation and Sepultura to shape a lingering atmosphere of ambiguity and potential in with the desecration of hope.

Denfire – Riding the Winds of Death: these guys listen to a lot of Voivod and mixed it into uptempo heavy metal with lots of downstroking to create a shuddering motion that by inertia brings you, then falls into the usual heavy metal patterns with embellishments, proving that you can be better than most of those in your field and still not rise to the level of meriting a repeat listen.

Sinira – The Everlorn: this feels like a tribute to early Sacramentum and uses many of the same riff styles, rhythms, and melodies but does not build up anything like the energy because it focuses too much on consistency and not enough on thematic development, but still this should appeal to fans of melodic real metal from Fourth Monarchy on back through the canon, although on the next album they might do well to work on internal contrast and having the riffs comment on each other like lawyers disagreeing over the right way to steal kneecaps from children.

Akvan – City of Blood: kind of a cool technique in making droning black metal using middle eastern melodies but they have no idea how to end a phrase so end up with lots of rhythmic stops that make the whole thing feel like a camel that ate the hashish trying to stand and falling over and over again.

Aggression – From Hell With Hate: this band made a name for themselves back in the day by taking a Slayer riff approach to standard speed metal of the guy-running-from-the-cops-with-a-backpack rhythmic school, where the drums kind of whack along as the riff follows the vocal or highlights it, and while they do a good job of this, speed metal like this emphasizes stop/start rather than continuity and building on each layer like an esoteric philosophy.

Avzhia – Candles in your Hands: this legendary band comes out with a new track of the touring variety of heavy metal composition, meaning that it uses a kind of soupy riff to transition between a variety of tempo changes, riffs, and presentations — the interaction between vocals, instruments, and rhythm as a distinct form — so that you feel like you are on a Disney ride visiting different locales from the films and buying $129 tshirts from the stuffed animated characters; there is a lot of good stuff in here but it does not add up to more than the sum of its parts.

Aurora Borealis – Prophecy is the Mold in Which History is Poured: this feels like a chase on foot through an abandoned factory where the protagonist sees the bad guy getting away so he dashes through all of the ductwork and then comes to a fan and pauses, looks around, and sees the guy again so goes racing through the generator row. Too much emphasis on vocals leads to good riffs being squandered and discontinuities that diminish rather than increase contrast/intensity, with too many bounce riffs, despite a lot of fine lead guitar playing and riff-writing here. This band is simply moving too fast to capitalize on what it does well by developing it as a thematic set of riffs which interplay with each other instead of the vocals trying to beat instruments into submission.

Corpsegrinder – Corpsegrinder: it always seemed to me that Cannibal Corpse was inspired by heavy metal and wanted to use Possessed and Sepultura inspired riffs to make cheesy big stadium hard rock and heavy metal hit harder, and this album follows in that vein with riff-chorus songs with a few platforms provided by interstitial riffs, essentially aiming for head-nodding, foot-tapping, and horns-throwing music that lulls you into a hypnotic trance where the remarkably similar rhythms take over and you lose this world for awhile, which as long as you remember you are basically listening to a brutal version of Def Leppard can be enjoyable but will not keep the attention of a longterm metalhead.

Sépulcre – Cursed Ways of Sheol: lots of cool atmospheric riffs that somehow lead back into trudging deathcore-styled riffs or bouncing speed metal riffs, killing the momentum built up and making this an exhausting listen despite some excellent riffs and amazing transitions which make this album worth plundering for ideas by current bands.

Autopsy – Morbidity Triumphant: we liked Autopsy for its ability to combine riffs that sounded like decay with themes that made the riffs into a language for exploring the hopeless and terrifying, but new Autopsy tends to be very formulaic and as a result has very little internal continuity (this is the curse of aging bands: bad study habits lead to a lack of cohesion in albums, not to mention lack of any topic but wanting to be cool in a metal band and make an album). Some great riffs, would not want to listen again.

Varuna – Night Master: atmospheric metal with distorted vocals, this release adopts the pacing of underground metal with post-metal styles of riffs and a doom metal sensibility, making songs that hold together melodically despite being built around two riffs and variations interspersed with sometimes ecletic keyboard breaks, making for a pleasantly coherent even if not particular exciting atmosphere for you to contemplate as you watch the modern world descend in flaming ruins around you and your chicken fried steak burrito.

Gog and Magog – Aoratos Strateia: someone carefully hid a metalcore album in an old school package, basically deathcore with modern style emo riffs and good driving passages to break up the bounce/stop-start material, with lots of black metal fills and turnarounds, but essentially written around the vocals and therefore like rap simply an experience of listening to someone rant in familiar rhythms while you try to maintain some sense of continuity that evades you like Ukrainian refugees turning into cooked meat smells in the air as thermobaric weapons rain down upon them.

Eucharist – I Am The Void: self-referential albums are never a good thing because they show a band more obsessed with its legacy or finally becoming as popular as its competition instead of focusing on creating a sonic experience that would delight their teenage selves, but this album builds quality riffs into melodically-coherent songs that deepen a mood, although its weakness is the focus on vocals instead of pure guitar interplay and this leads to a lot of songs used as a backdrop for the vocals, which leads to shortly endurance of listening much like having your colon removed makes the buffet at Sizzlin’ Skillet a lot less fun since you can only eat four pounds of food instead of your patriotic duty to gulp down ten and then buy an air fryer at Walmart.®

Fourth Monarchy – “May the Waves Enshroud your Death” and “Rebirth of the Fourth Monarchy”: embracing royalism is at least guaranteed to offend three-quarters of any audience on Earth, but what drives this band is a cross between Mythos and Rotting Christ, a melodic sensibility that is tamed by militant but varied percussion to shift like pouring sand into different tempi, providing the graceful but serrated black metal approach that all of us sought when we were huddled behind our high schools trying to enjoy a few illicit cigarettes before consumerism, socialism, Christianity, diversity, and daytime television ate up what was left of the West.

Abbath – Dread Reaver: we might call this momentum music because it drops into a surging pattern played on tremolo with faint melody and then moves as if marching through the steppes with brief counterpoints but mostly just hammering out the riff so the vocals can make some noise that sounds profound, bringing on the paradox of late-career bands namely that everything here is well done but without point except upholding an aesthetic so it is criminally boring like writing web apps in Lua for a Caddy server deployed on Apple hardware.

Neraines – Fenrir Prowling: much in the style of Molested, this band sketch out a riff form and rhythm, then have a response to that, and vary riff within the former while returning frequently to the dominant theme, resulting in a feast of small riffs that vary very little, giving a surface picture of complexity without the theme ever developing sort of like narcissistic kids who got into transsexualism just because Obamacare would pay for it watching their nullo gonads atrophy.

Tyrant – Beyond The Grave: a few years back this band was the “forgotten classic” of the underground according to black metal fans who were plundering back catalogs for bands to vlog about, but really it sounds like NWOBHM mixed with Van Halen and some bouncy chanty stuff like Kiss, resulting in music that goes exactly where you expect it will for that Cirith Ungol or Venom sense of having music that is easy to follow and has compelling rhythms even if the songs never come together to develop and go anywhere, sort of like Big Tech stocks last week.

Ehlder – Faderland Norr: remember the first Lord Wind album that was played with very light distortion so it had a folkish sound, and used simpler drone riffs in place of flowing black metal phrases? This release hybridizes folk and black metal in the same way, keeps the energy flowing, varies songs internally while managing consistent themes, and by taking them toward gestured emotional changes without hammering those out explicitly like propaganda, manages its own aura of mysterious positive melancholy.

Unformulas – Post Mortem Visionary: this album plays with texture from doom metal to Incantation-style death metal to something like post-metal with intestinal fortitude, wresting its own language from the ability to move notes simultaneously in different directions at different paces, producing the type of ambiguous catacomb atmosphere that the arthouse hamster bands and crypto-normie acts can only dream of, running the gamut of a wide range of riffs for songs that make their point through internal conflict and then fade out sort of like early Burzum.

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7 thoughts on “Sadistic Metal Reviews: Drinking the Blood of the Innocent”

  1. Svmmoned says:

    Thank you for trudging through all this (mostly) shit. I’m really waiting for Fourth Monarchy to finally release follow-up to Amphilochia. While there are some listenable, halfway good things here, I feel that their main problem is lack of will, of some internal motivation which would help them to transcend the form or at least imbue them with elusive quality found in abundance on releases of old. I believe that it’s something which goes beyond just a matter of good or bad songwriting.

    1. I see a lot of confusion in the releases this year. Most people are unsure why they are still doing this, or even if it is worth doing. This means the underground metal fad has ended, even if the long tail of less-well-informed basement greebos in small cities have not caught up to the fact of hipsters in Silverlake and Williamsburg dropping death and black metal like scientific proof of the primal importance of something human individuals cannot control, like mathematical proof of God, detailed mapping of races and traits, or official recognition that the British upper class during the Victorian era was the smartest leadership caste in human history since the Greeks.

  2. Ruben Calderon says:

    thanks

  3. ONLY PLEASURE TO KILL IS REAL says:

    Kreator was already irrelevant years before clinton

    1. Clinton assumed power in 1993? I thought Renewal was a great album — probably musically the best Kreator — but a dumb move considering that their fans wanted German speed metal with some death metal stylings. They wanted to do a Metallica of their own, following Coma of Souls which was sort of their tribute to Metallica …And Just Ass For All and Sepultura Beneath the Remains with a touch of Queensrÿche Operation Mindcrime. They never had the gumption to go all the way. Their early material had great riffs in confused songs, their middle material got the songwriting under control but bottomed it out in terms of potential, then they got serious about guitar lessons but got too emo, and finally Renewal was an odd outpouring of poetry, sort of a hymn to Europe from a band that thought it was their last album at the time.

  4. DUMB SATANISTS says:

    inverted crosses are a symbol of respect for jesus, the tiamat dude maybe was getting power from christ

    1. The best symbol is our rune, or maybe the chaos infinity symbol from The Other Site.

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