Hate Eternal’s Conquering the Throne is a fairly mediocre album plagued by the symptoms that were spreading across the Death metal universe at the time. The need for even more brutality was visible on one side of the spectrum while the need to rival the more overground and Rock derived bands on their terms dominated the other side of the spectrum. Erik Rutan had finished his second stay with Morbid Angel who had just failed at accomplishing any of the objectives with the juvenile Gateways to Annihilation and would then form Hate Eternal who simplified everything Ripping Corpse had done into music that attempted to be memorable and punishing but ended up being predictable and flat. Though three songs stand out on this album, showing at times a level of composition far beyond anything that Rutan could ever dream of conceiving. These would become Doug Cerrito’s last contributions to Death metal.
Sometimes for no actual logical reason, terrible metal bands become adored despite not having a gimmick like satanic Abba songs or a mentally deranged topless DJ as a vocalist. These bands offer nothing of interest even on initial listens and should be actively mocked for their pretentious unsubstantiated claims.
While 2019 has shown that home studios are only getting better with the release of better emulators and cheaper “ready to record” prepackaged setups, the increase of quantity has not shown a proportionate increase in quality across the music spectrum. Metal has been in a particular weak state despite the best releases of the year being better than those of previous years, the overall quality was so low that even the present editor had to explore non-metal underground music in hopes of finding something of great quality. While such “expeditions” have been for the most part fruitless, the best of the year can only leave the metal listener with a sense optimism of what the new decade has to offer. Without any further ado, here is the best underground metal of 2019.
Following the tale of one of the fourteen holy helpers Achatius, more commonly known under the name of Saint Agathius, the patron saint against headaches and more importantly a central figure in the various wars against the Ottomans. His story is that of a soldier who was tortured and decapitated for not relinquishing his faith and therefore becoming a martyr. Funeral Presence expand on this brief tale by playing a form of Black metal that exists within the confines of the first wave yet but with subtle influences in overall scope and direction from the second wave.
Pensées Nocturnes – Grand Guignol Orchestra:
The Grand Guignol was a form of French theater known for its exaggerated performances that fused horror and comedy in revealing the most violent tendencies that lie hidden within every individual. Outlandish yet poignant and a precursor for what the best horror cinema had to offer. Pensées Nocturnes confuse this with the circus and make carnival music with a wide variety of instruments that eventually has to rely on dissonant Black metal riffs. Ideas aren’t connected to each other and the songs follow a riff salad pattern that sees the traditional instruments fade away for some sub-standard attempts at Black metal. Only the vocals manage to convey both horror and comedy as demented howls meet pseudo operatic singing. The constant need to shock the listener loses its potency as its predictable nature is quickly revealed as its base, this is bad Black metal taking from influences it doesn’t have the slightest grasp on to create the lowest denominator metal at which fails completely.
Legion has always been described as being pure rhythmic intensity exemplified within Death metal. While that assertion is true, it remains a deviation to what Deicide truly accomplished in their prime. The use of non-diatonic sequences that were’t bound by conventional notions of melody but rather a combination of chromaticism and atonality where each note was chosen individually for a specific function not held down by any scale or mode.
Fleshcrawl – In the Catacombs of Flesh
Fleshcrawl return after a twelve year layoff with this abortion of an album that should be avoided. The overall motion of the album is extremely bizarre as the band start with one decent song before slowly spiraling into simple chugging rhythms reminiscent of later Entombed and slowly falling into pure saccharine Melodeath. The vocals have devolved into the almost shouted Nu Death vocals popular in the early 2000s. The weak vocals lead these songs and help distinguish them by shouting each title multiple times. The lyrics perfectly illustrate to what mentally deficient depths this band has descended to with golden quotes likes “Suffer you fucking cunt, die you fucking cunt”. The drums have devolved into follow the riffs without any of the intelligent fills and patterns that were once emblematic of this band. In the Catacombs of another man’s flesh!
Hipster band and MGLA knock-off UADA were unable to play a show in Mexico because of a bit of sunlight in a country known for its year round high temperatures. Apparently playing droning songs with occasional Dissection like melodies in a vest is such a challenging feat that anything above room temperature is considered a battle against the elements. While UADA are in no way rockstars it seems that they have taken up such mannerisms and petty behavior. The fans who paid to see this band should consider themselves lucky after this. UADA may pretend to be some kind of profound art with an important message but in reality they are bunch of trendsters who falter at the slightest challenge. Hopefully the band die of heat exhaustion in the Sahara.
Since the dawn of man there have been two kinds of people. Those who are capable of innovating and those who can follow with varying degrees of success. What lies here is some of the first worst Death metal in existence as it poorly tries to capture the essence of the greats and a mix of other bands that do their best to break away from such heavy chains that burden all musicians in the 21st Century.
Paragon Zero hail from Hungary and little is known about the band. A short EP of three songs and A Pestilence cover show a young band still mixing their influences in hopes of finding their own unique style.