Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Crusm - Stench of Decompose

CRUSM - Stench of Decompose (self released demo 2017)
I got this CD from London, although all members of this band are Polish. They call themselves Crusm and here's their debut recording titled "Stench of Decompose". Well, I won't write an indepth and lengthy review of it, because there's not much to write about, to be honest. There are ten minutes of grindcore / crust on this disc, with five songs plus two covers (of Disrupt and Disfear). The whole music and the attitude is to keep everything simple, energetic, raw and aggressive. And have some fun, while playing it. I suppose that Crusm achieved that exactly, because this is what we get from this demo. Very short, right to the point slabs of filth, with almost primitive, ugly feel, bit of groove, brutality and sick, disgusting vocals. And it sounds pretty solid. Nevertheless, I cannot say that I like this music. It's just not my style, really, I've never been fan of grind core, maybe except very, very few exceptions, so I can't think of any reason why would I like Crusm. I'm not saying their music sucks or something, I'm not saying it's unlistenable... Maybe it's pretty cool, but just not my cup of piss. 
Verdict: 60/100 

Friday, 12 January 2018

Undead - Redemption

UNDEAD - Redemption (Self financed CD 2016)
It's always a great pleasure to introduce an unknown, but really awesome band, hoping that these few words of positive comment will help spread their name and get them some more deserved support. Here's one such example, a fuckin beast of morbid death metal called Undead. This name has already been used by several other projects, but this one is a union of some Spanish and British musicians. They first ejaculated the "Blood Enemy" 7"EP (which I also have in my collection and will write about it later) in 2015. Then another EP, this time on CD format, has been unleashed and this one is titled "Redemption". And damn, I have to say that I love this piece of filth, it's just a perfect sounding death metal played in my most preferred style. And the only thing, which I don't like about it is that there are just four tracksI would wish to hear more! 
Anyway, this is just an EP, so "rules are rules". Luckily, Undead rips through the speakers with relentless force, without wasting a second for bullshit, so the entire EP is a nasty pleasure to listen to. It's the old styled, vicious and aggressive metal of death, played in quite Swedish, ferocious style, which I personally can compare to bands such as Verminous, Nominon, Repugnant, Invidious and even the in-famous debut records of Morbus Chron, Necrovation and Tribulation. Obviously, all these bands were influenced by Merciless, Nihilist, Sadistic Intent, Autopsy, Grotesque... And a bunch more cults, which I will not mention, it's enough. The result, which Undead achieved on "Redemption" is almost spectacular, for me personally, because I truly worship this kind of style and every song here sounds just perfect. This stuff is fast, obscure, it's very aggressive and vicious, but at the same time these riffs are fairly memorable. Sometimes Undead incorporates even a solid melodic line or a slower part, to achieve more interesting result. Mainly though it's just fast and merciless attack of eviscerating riffage and harsh, demonic vokills. The production is very good, with Necromorbus mastering, so you can expect everything to sound spot on. So yeah... I am very impressed with this material, so I recommend it strongly. Let it revel in your lingering agony! 
Standout track: "Volatile Existence" 
Verdict: 85/100 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Puteraeon - The Empires of Death

It's been a while since Puteraeon putted out their last album "The Crawling Chaos". I'm not sure if 2018 will bring us their fourth full length finally or not, but this torture of waiting for it has just been sweetened with a 7" single titled "The Empires of Death". Unleashed by a new label, Growls From The Underground, this seven inch was a must to have for me, so I can have more complete Puteraeon collection. Luckily, I had no problems finding a copy. Let's spin it them! 
And I have to tell that "The Empires of Death" didn't disappoint me, I got exactly what I always expect to hear from bands like Puteraeon. Which is a restless, vicious and energetic dose of Swedish death metal. The first song is just powerful, "Providence" strikes without wasting time and I have to say these are some very impressive five minutes. Great riffs, very cool horrid aura and a lots of blasting or mid paced, yet vicious death metal. Definitely it's the best track here and surely one of Puteraeon's best so far, I like it a lot. Side B songs "At the Altars" and "Epitaph" are also pretty fuckin awesome, even if the music can be sometimes predictable and overplayed by many similar bands on many albums. But it just doesn't bother me, because I like that energy, which flows with Puteraeon music, I like that passionate, ferocious feel and I just think that this band has good riffs, good ideas and proper-size balls to play it right. Lovecraft influence in the lyrics is also always good to see. If you dig traditional sounding Swedish death metal you just have no right to say that Puteraeon sounds boring. Maybe this EP is not their best achievement, it's also not the best Swedish death metal piece I heard in my life... but I just enjoy it as much as I can. 
So, you also better get yourself a copy, do not hesitate, because Puteraeon are just solid band. And watch the trilogy of videos, which was created for each song from this EP, with the fine concept of "blood / fire / death". Really good work! 
Verdict: 70/100 

Indignity - Realm of Dissociation

INDIGNITY - Realm of Dissociation (SLIPTRICK Records - CD 2017)
Brutal death metal is not my thing, to be fair. I can't find anything what would really interest me in this kind of music and maybe except very few exceptions, this kind of stuff mostly sounds boring and annoying to me. Sorry to say. I just don't care for too many brutal death metal bands!! But well, here's a brutal death metal band with their debut album. Indignity are Polish and I did have a chance to hear their previous recording, which was a demo titled "Decrepitude". 2017 brought us a release of their full length "Realm of Dissociation" and for the past few days I've been trying to get into this music and find something worthy in it. Well, I have to say that maybe this is not my favourite style of death metal, but surely Indignity have some killer riffs and good quality. There's nice heaviness and crushing feel to every song they presented on "Realm of Dissociation", I have to say that I'm also quite positively surprised to hear such a powerful and massive production, which surely helps these songs to have even stronger impact on the listener. I'm also glad the music is not too technical for my taste. I mean, too often brutal death metal bands come up with riffs, which are just a bunch of bullshit, with hundreds of notes, but not real sense or feel. Indignity surely doesn't play simplistic death metal, but it's just on the edge of my tolerance haha. And basically, if you dig some Cannibal Corpse then "Realm of Dissociation" should be a nice offer for you. 
As for myself... I quite like it, yes, but to be honest, I just hate some of these hoggish vocals, they're as stupid and annoying as terrible. I could never understand why brutal death metal bands decide to use such kind of growl, can't they understand it just ruins their music? Other than that though, I think that "Realm of Dissociation" is fairly solid and enjoyable slab of brutality. 
Verdict: 65/100 

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Har - Baal Ha'ov

HAR - Baal Ha'ov (WOLFSBANE Records LP 2017)
Black or death metal from Israel is still a rare thing, especially if you seek for a quality and worthy stuff. I doubt there ever was a band from this country, which I would really like. Sure, I remember "Djinn" and "Sphynx", two pretty solid albums from Melechesh. But I can't say that I listen to them often... Hmm, last time I listened to this band must have been already ages ago. There's also Arallu, who're good also... But that's it (sorry, but I never liked Salem!). And well, Har is about to change that, because I truly liked the music they just unleashed. Here's their debut EP "Baal Ha'ov", first released on CD and tape, but from 2017 available also on vinyl thanks to Wolfsbane Records. In my opinion this is the most extreme and worthy stuff on the Israeli metal scene I know of. I truly enjoyed this music! 
With six songs and twenty minutes of music, we get a fierce and vicious harsh black / death metal, with the first of these two styles playing much dominant role. "Baal Ha'ov" is aggressive, obscure, it's also very bestial in its nature. Most of the time Har doesn't waste time and just speeds like crazy with that old school, primitive form of black / death metal, bringing an utter destruction and malignancy. But some slower fragments also appear and actually the slowest song on this EP titled "Cannibal" is definitely my personal favourite. But the whole "Baal Ha'ov" is not bad at all. At the first listen I wasn't much impressed, but the more and more I was playing this vinyl, the more I was getting into this piece morbidity. And now I can say that I like it and can sincerely recommend it.  
As far as I managed to find out, another EP is coming out soon, this time through Blood Harvest, so keep an eye on both releases. I already had a chance to hear some pieces from "Visitation" and damn, it's gonna be good again! 
Verdict: 70/100 

Sawhill Sacrifice - Pimeyteen ja kuolemaan

SAWHILL SACRIFICE - Pimeyteen ja kuolemaan (WOLFSPELL Records CD 2017)
The last package, which I got from Wolfspell Records, brought few releases of bands, which I have never heard about before. Sawhill Sacrifice was one of them. Despite having released their third album already, this was the first time I heard the music of this Finnish band. I don't think I even knew the name previously. It doesn't matter. This third opus is called "Pimeyteen ja kuolemaan" and I have to say that it's another great and recommended release from Wolfspell Records, in my opinion. 
was quite surprised with "Pimeyteen ja kuolemaan". If there's anything that can describe most of the Finnish black metal bands then it's the truly raw, filthy and obscure sound, with most primitive and simplistic means. it's their vulgarity and savagery. Meanwhile Sawhill Sacrifice offers music much more diverse and progressivenot necessarily focused on the traditional forms of this style of music.  Sure, it still is black metal. But just like bands such as Obtained Enslavement or Thyrane did in the 90's, Sawhill Sacrifice is not afraid to include different influences, different styles. Most likely you will be surprised how catchy and memorable this music is. There are plenty of fantastic melodic passages, lots of keyboards filling the sound of the band and even the vocals are varied (they are including female chants!). This diversity between all songs and sometimes even within one particular track, works very well and will give you an interesting and capturing listen. You will find out how catchy the music is, how well composed it is and how good is its melodic side. Luckily though, Sawhill Sacrifice didn't forget also that black metal needs to sound vicious, dark and nasty. 
It all starts with a symphonic intro "Kutsu", which was created by Rob Darken especially for this album. Nice! The first proper song "Sota edessämme" is one of my very favourites. It's very fast, aggressive and powerful in its first part. In the second section the music smoothly transitions into slow, melodic passage, which gives this song an extra flavour. "Minä palvelen Saatanaa" is another fine song, much slower, yet its melodic side gives it quite epic feel, especially with these few clean vocals that appear in this song. This track will show you how important is a good melody for "Pimeyteen ja kuolemaan" and that Sawhill Sacririce have a good skill for composing them (or the guitarist Blade has, as he's composed most of the album himself). There are obviously more fantastic songs, like "Lopullisen voiman äiti". At the same time, I have to admit that it's not like I enjoy everything on "Pimeyteen ja kuolemaan", there are maybe couple of fragments, which I would simply delete, because they sound weaker. The most noticeable is the whole opening section of "Kosmos", which just sounds shit for me, with that weeping atmosphere and bad clean vocals. But it's interesting that such calm and sorrowful fragment opens the door later in the song to one of the most aggressive, malicious and fastest parts of the album. 
Speaking of clean vocals and best songs... After first few listens, the song, which caught my attention the most was the closing track "Valkyria". Insanely good, ten minutes long heathen epic, with some stunning melodies (especially that final melody is just a masterpiece, absolutely fantastic) and amazing female chorus in the end (but also some male chants before that). Later I've found out that it's actually a Nokturnal Mortum cover!!! Well, I don't know this band anymore, I used to have some CDs, but traded them years ago and so I haven't listened to anything from Nokturnal Mortum in years. I was surprised then that it's their cover and that it's such a fantastic song. Well, no idea what the original is like, but this is just killer performance from Sawhill Sacrifice. Maybe it's time to re-discover Nokturnal Mortum music, why not? 
Soooo... I have to make some sort of conclusion for "Pimeyteen ja kuolemaan". But I am sure that the review says it all. It's very good, melodic and atmospheric, yet vicious and aggressive Finnish black metal. Nine songs, fifty minutes of music. It's not traditional black metal, especially if you compare it to such Finnish bands like HornaSargeist or Satanic Warmaster. Sawhill Sacrifice goes very different path, but I think that what they achieved on "Pimeyteen ja kuolemaan" is just superb and I sincerely recommend this album. I am sure that once this review is finished, it won't mean that I will put this CD back to the shelf. No, I want to listen to it again. And again. And I will be coming back to it quite often. For me, it’s one of the best Finnish black metal releases. 
Standout tracks: "Sota edessämme", "Minä palvelen Saatanaa", "Valkyria", "Lopullisen voiman äiti" 
Verdict: 80/100