Friday, October 30, 2009

Secrets of the Moon "Privilegivm"



Secrets of the Moon- Privilegivm

(Lupus Lounge)

Germany’s Secrets of the Moon return with their fifth full-length, entitled “Privilegivm” and released on Lupus Lounge Records (The AJNA Offensive has a hand in this somewhere, as well). Now sporting a lineup devoid of the band’s original members, Secrets of the Moon play a form of dark, black metal similar to acts such as Merrimack and, to a lesser extent, Satyricon and Pantheon I. “Purists” will undoubtedly endlessly debate the black metal credentials of bands treading ground in this clean aspect of the black metal genre with a well-produced sound, but, I, for one, find that Secrets of the Moon’s form of black metal is darkly rich in textures and tone.

Taking a very clean sound as a starting point, Secrets of the Moon add layers of mood with instrumental pieces incorporated into long songs formed around more traditional elements. The traditional forms appear as rasps, a range of tempos including a few blasts, and a malevolent atmosphere. A few black n’ roll moments are present with some definitely rock-oriented riffs and tempos (taking a page from Satyricon and like-minded acts), but Secrets of the Moon possess a feel to them, courtesy of atmospheric setting, that just rings true, perhaps more so than the latest releases from Merrimack and Pantheon I. While I enjoyed those releases, Secrets of the Moon’s enhanced levels of atmosphere on “Privilegivm“ add a certain richness to the tones that “Grey Rigorism”, the latest full-length from Merrimack, seems to lack, for example. This quality is a bit hard to describe and is somewhat difficult for this listener to put his finger on, but this is the vibe that I get from “Privilegivm”.

An impressive aspect to “Privilegivm” that simply must be addressed is the very sophisticated photography and layout, courtesy of French media artist Metastazis. The digipack of “Privilegivm” contains incredible, mood setting photography that greatly complements the stunning cover photo. The album’s mood of sophisticated black metal begins with the core of the apple, the darkest shade of black.

A stunning, high quality work of black metal art, “Privilegivm” is highly recommended.

Links

Secrets of the Moon Official MySpace

Lupus Lounge

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beer With A "Metal" Label III



Thor’s Hammer on the label?! The “Ozzy Osbourne of Ales”?! Are you kidding? Yep, I’m all over Eel River’s USDA-certified organic dark amber “old ale” named Triple Exultation. Triple Exultation is a nice, dark amber ale with a sweet/ bitter mix that goes down quite easily. Winner of a slew of awards, you can, naturally, find this at Whole Foods (rapidly becoming a beer geek’s store of choice) in one-pint bottles.

Giddy up, Sleipnir!

Eel River Triple Exultation

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Enemy Reign "Means To A Dead End"



Enemy Reign- Means To A Dead End

(Self-released)

Here’s a self-financed, five-song debut EP from Denver’s Enemy Reign, a new five-piece fronted by Sherwood Webber (ex-Skinless) on vocals with Andon Guenther, co-creator of Sick Drummer Magazine, behind the kit. Taking a chance financially with a very slick, well-produced and packaged, self-financed debut EP entitled “Means To A Dead End”, you can’t help but hope that the EP’s name isn’t prophetic.

First off, “Means To A Dead End” comes as a digipack, somewhat unusual for a self-released effort, with excellent artwork with broad strokes of color. As for the music, “Means To A Dead End” is well-produced, straightforward Florida-style death metal with a few hints of hardcore, fast thrash, and even metalcore with one or two breakdowns included for good measure. The songs are full of lightning fast riffs, blasts, and a few breakdowns with heavy hitting percussion. Toss in the odd hardcore influence or two, and if you find yourself thinking, “Misery Index”, you’re pretty damn close to the mark.

Not very original, to be honest, but that really doesn’t matter as “Means To A Dead End” just absolutely rips with well written songs that you’ll finding yourself windmilling to in no time at all. In fact, the five songs blow by so quickly that you’ll quickly find yourself reaching for the repeat button.

The quality of the music and the professional packaging of “Means To An End” indicate that Enemy Reign are pursuing a record deal. I see no reason why they shouldn’t be immediately signed to one of the bigger labels. This EP comes highly recommended.

Links

Enemy Reign Official MySpace

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stuff on the fringe that's been sent to me lately...

Here’s a quick look at three albums from various artists on different labels that are only flirting with metal, or exist outside of the usual genres. I’ve a pretty large backlog of albums to review, so, in the interest of time, I’m only giving these albums a brief examination. Each album was given a complete listen, though, and this is just my brief impression of each.



First up is a German duo named Dyse, playing a weird combination of noisy Krautrock, alternative, jazz/ fusion, and what have you. “Lieder Sind Bruder Der Revolution”, the duo’s second album on Exile On Mainstream Records, is most definitely not metal, but may appeal to those interested in weird funk/ fusion bands such as Primus, a comparison that easily comes to mind. However, Dyse are much noisier, harder hitting, and play with a range of tempos. I suppose another band that compares would be System Of A Down with a similar vocal delivery and quirky song patterns. At any rate, the music is well played on “Lieder Sind…”, but I certainly would not recommend this band to those of you that are strictly metal traditionalists.

Exile On Mainstream Official MySpace

Dyse Official MySpace



Next up is “Sing- Along Songs For The Damned And Delirious”, the second full-length from Sweden’s Diablo Swing Orchestra on Ascendance Records. Guitarist Daniel Hakansson describes the music as “riot opera”, and the description is apt as somehow, this act has been able to successfully combine pure swing music with a metallic, hard-nosed edge. Other weird influences such as opera and jazz are also present, and the end result is original and interesting, to say the least. What metal that is present here exists as some gigantic riffing from Hakansson and second guitarist Pontus Mantefors that wouldn’t be out of place on a Pantera album, or Metallica whilst they were deep in the jock-rock era of the Black album. Strangely enough, “Sing- Along Songs…” is pretty well done and highly infectious, but is also definitely not recommended for traditionalists.

Diablo Swing Orchestra Official MySpace

Ascendance Records



Lastly is a total laugh riot from White Mice, a weirdo band, to say the least, releasing their latest full-length (who the Hell knows how many prior releases), the wonderfully titled “Ganjahovadose” on 20 Buck Spin Records. The humor flies at you fast and furious with this trio dressed up in rodent masks and blood streaked lab coats, parodies of Michelangelo’s artworks, and a booklet heavily laden with Bible verses (with cartoons) re-done with a satirical, scatological bent (the density of the detail in these parodies is immense, and obviously a great deal of work went into this). Numerous other references to bodily fluids, God, marijuana and hallucinogens (you just knew that all of this has to be drug-fueled to some degree), and sex involving rodents abound throughout “Ganjahovadose”, and you can’t help but laugh out loud at all of this nonsense. As for the music, “Ganjahovadose” is sloppily played, down tuned noise rock/ sludge with cascading drums, a screamed vocal delivery that comes off as bemused, and lots of incredibly noisy, distorted bass. Not in the mainstream of metal by any stretch of the word, but worth a listen, nonetheless.

White Mice Official MySpace

20 Buck Spin Records

So, there you have it. Those of you looking for something a little different may want to investigate some of these releases, as each are well done in their own way. Each band finds a niche where not many others are present.

Incoming!!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Black Cobra "Chronomega"



Black Cobra- Chronomega

(Southern Lord)

I don’t know how this duo is able to get away without having a bassist, but they do. The Bay Area’s crushingly heavy Black Cobra return with their third full-length, entitled “Chronomega”, and their first for a natural home for the band, Southern Lord Records. Up tempo sludge with hints of stoner laced doom are the bread and butter of Black Cobra, all the while driven by gigantic riffing courtesy of guitarist/ vocalist Jason Landrian.

First off, the gigantic sound is undoubtedly due, at least in part, to the production on “Chronomega”, which is exceedingly thick. So thick, in fact, that Black Cobra are still able to deliver a devastatingly heavy album without a bassist. A duo in this form is somewhat unusual, so a few comparisons can be made between Black Cobra, OM, whom rely on bass to deliver their own brand of heaviness, and Eagle Twin, another duo on Southern Lord with a crushing sound that relies upon a baritone guitar. However, Black Cobra are skewed more closely towards bands such as High On Fire in that the focus of the guitar-driven music is straightforward metal, rather than just skirting the edges as is the case, in my opinion, with Eagle Twin. Other obvious cousins of Black Cobra include Om, Sleep, and, due to a certain fuzziness to Black Cobra’s sound, hints of Kyuss.

At any rate, naturally, a release such as this is going to rely upon great riffs, and “Chronomega” certainly has them with the bulk of the songwriting throughout being of high quality. A nice mix of tempos is in play, as well, with a few quirky drum patterns mixed in for good measure. Combined with a slight fuzz, and “Chronomega” very quickly jumps towards the top of the stoner/ doom/ sludge heap.

In short, if you find any, or all, of the bands that I’ve cited for comparison to your liking, then Black Cobra is right up your alley.

Links

Southern Lord Records

Black Cobra Official MySpace

Friday, October 23, 2009

Marduk "Wormwood"



Marduk- Wormwood

(Regain Records)

The transformation of Marduk, which began with the departure of Legion, is complete. Since the recruitment of Mortuus, Marduk have reinvented themselves, and the release of “Wormwood” showcases the band as an entirely different animal from the days of Legion. The shift is subtle, though. Prior to Legion’s departure, Marduk had dabbled in basic divergence from their patented formula of balls out, fast black metal, but the band’s experimentation with mood, groove, and atmosphere was, in retrospect, seemingly a bit tentative. Albums such as “World Funeral” and so forth are good and were well received, but even “Plague Angel” and “Rom 5:12”, the first two albums with Mortuus, were merely a warm up for the mature work of “Wormwood”.

Marduk are still, at heart, a fast black metal band concerned with brutality. Mind numbing power and blastbeats galore are still present in spades. However, wonderfully, and seamlessly, mixed in are hard hitting dirges of a slower pace that drip with power, eerie, atmospheric touches that involve some wonderful bass work from Magnus Andersson (not to mention his masterful production, delivering an album that just seethes) and the truly awesome vocal delivery of Mortuus. Mortuus’ vocals hit just the right note; that is, besides the obvious power, his vicious growls truly allow Marduk to transcend from a fast black metal band to an almost primal force. His vocals are that good and I believe him to be perhaps the best vocalist in black metal today.

Besides the vocal highlights, what separates “Wormwood” from its immediate predecessors is the songwriting. The songwriting is the perfect match for Mortuss’ vocal work; that is, the vocals and the music share the glory equally with well written songs. The all out blasts, the dirges, and the atmosphere are all of the just the correct length and propel “Wormwood” to the top of the black metal pedestal.

Album of the year? I’ve already said the same thing about “Maranatha” by Funeral Mist, Mortuus’ alter ego, and “Wormwood” is the perfect companion piece. The albums sit side by side.

Links

Marduk Official MySpace

Regain Records

Post script: I should mention that, with the debacle of last year’s Blackened Fest as the tour went up in flames, I doubted that Marduk would play the United States. To the band’s credit, they have kept their word and I look forward to their performance.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A word about reviews...

To clarify: I am not currently affiliated with any metal review website. I was a staff writer at the British website Live 4 Metal for the past 5 years, but, Steve Green, the editor, has decided to place the site on hiatus. The site will close, at least for now, at the end of October.

Although I am no longer writing for a specific site, all of my contacts at various PR firms and labels are graciously continuing to provide me access to CDs and are allowing me to download albums directly from the labels for the express purpose of reviewing those albums. I am grateful to these people for still providing me an outlet for my review writing, a hobby that I greatly enjoy (whether or not you value my opinion is wholly up to you). I hope to hook onto another site or two in the near future. In the meantime, I am using this blog to write reviews for albums as they are given to me. I will try to give each album careful consideration, as time permits.

This is a hobby and nothing more. Hence, my reviews are solely my opinion and are written from the standpoint of a long time fan (I have been listening to metal since about 1978 or so). I do not write reviews from the standpoint of a musician, nor from an ideological point of view. I do not use this blog to promote, or discuss, ideology, although I am an atheist and I have a scientific background. I do not engage in arguments about the "purity" or ideological slant of artists, although I do draw the line with racism.

My opinions are impersonal and negative opinions of one's music are in no way meant as an insult to any person or band. If you take offense, please be aware that none was intended. My opinions are mine alone, and are merely based upon what I hear and whether I like what I hear. If you agree with me, fine. If you do not agree with me, that's fine, as well. Feel free to disagree and drop me a line if you wish to engage in a rational discussion. I do not engage in name calling, though, which is the last resort of those that lack the tools to engage in civil discourse.



In the near future, I will collaborate with Daniel Hinds in resurrecting his webzine The Plague. I hope to begin contributing to The Plague towards the end of this calendar year. In the meantime, however, I will write as many reviews as I can, and give each album a fair shake.

I thank you for reading. Cheers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Whiplash "Unborn Again"



Whiplash- Unborn Again

(Pulverised Records)

The return of thrash metal bands from yesteryear continues with “Unborn Again” from New Jersey’s semi-legendary Whiplash. Incidentally, it seems as if the releases from these recently rejuvenated bands giving it another go are alternating between Heavy Artillery Records and Pulverised Records (the label releasing “Unborn Again”).

At any rate, Whiplash first appeared during the heyday of thrash in the mid 80s, and I recall enjoying their first two full-lengths, “Power And Pain” and “Ticket To Mayhem”, which consisted of no-frills, straight away thrash metal. Whiplash failed to impress me with their third full-length, “Insult To Injury”, though, and I basically lost track of the band. To be honest, I haven’t listened to Whiplash since those days as I ended up selling my vinyl copies of the first three albums prior to jumping into graduate school (sacrilege, I know). Whiplash did release a few more albums, but haven’t been heard from since 1998.

Flash forward to the current thrash revival, and, sure enough, Whiplash reappear with founding member Tony Portaro at the helm and some good cover art with a carnival theme on “Unborn Again” from Ed Repka. To be honest, with “Unborn Again”, I was more or less expecting a beefed up Exodus clone, as has been the case with Onslaught and a few others. Modern production values are present with “Unborn Again” (courtesy of Harris Johns; now there’s a blast from the past), but the album is definitely not what I was expecting. Instead of modern thrash, or even a throwback to a mid to late 80s style with aggression and snarl, what “Unborn Again” most closely ends up resembling is a sped up version of late NWOBHM. In fact, given that most of the music sounds like an up-tempo version of Judas Priest and early Iron Maiden, describing Whiplash as speed metal, as opposed to thrash metal, is probably more apt. Most of the songs are decent enough and well played (a nice cover of the Montrose classic “I’ve Got The Fire” is included, as well as a couple of guest solos from Frank Blackfire), but the big problem with “Unborn Again” is the lousy vocal delivery from Portaro. The vocals lack any punch whatsoever, seem to be much higher pitched than what I remember, and ruin “Unborn Again” for me, plain and simple.

Once again, I’m mostly disappointed with the reappearance of yet another band from the heyday of thrash metal.

Links

Whiplash Official MySpace

Pulverised Records

Monday, October 19, 2009

Swedish Death Metal 3 CD Compilation



Swedish Death Metal 3 CD Compilation by Daniel Ekeroth

(Prophecy Productions/ Lupus Lounge)

Words cannot do this justice. Just look at this track list!

CD1:

1. Mefisto “Missing in Action” (from the demo tape “Megalomania”, 1986)
2. Obscurity “Demented” (from the demo tape “Damnations Pride”, 1987)
3. Corpse “Rise Again” (from the demo tape “Black Dawn”, 1987)
4. Merciless “Souls of the Dead” (from the demo tape “Realm of the Dark”, 1988)
5. Morbid “Wings of Funeral” (from the demo tape “December Moon”, 1987)
6. Nihilist “Abnormally Deceased” (from the demo tape “Only Shreds Remain”, 1988)
7. Putrefaction “Putrefaction Remains” (from the demo tape “Painful Death”, 1989)
8. Carnage “Torn Apart” (from the demo tape “Infestation of Evil”, 1989)
9. Therion “Megalomania” (from the demo tape “Beyond the Darkest Veils of Inner Wickedness”, 1989)
10. Carbonized “Final Chapter” (from the demo tape “Au-To-Dafe“, 1989)
11. Expulsion “Darkside” (from the demo tape “Veiled in the Mists of Mystery”, 1989)
12. Grave “Brutally Deceased” (from the demo tape “Anatomia Corporis Humani”, 1989)
13. Sorcery “Descend to the Ashes” (from the demo tape “Unholy Crusade”, 1989)
14. Tribulation “Irrevocable Act” (from the demo tape “Void of Compassion”, 1990)
15. Afflicted Convulsion “Consumed In Flames” (from the demo tape “Beyond Redemption”, 1990)
16. Dismember “Dismembered” (from the demo tape “Reborn in Blasphemy”, 1990)
17. Desultory “The Chill Within” (from the demo tape “Death Unfolds”, 1990)
18. Grotesque “Submit to Death” (from the 12” EP “Incantation”, 1990)

CD2:

1. Entombed “But Life Goes On” (from the demo tape “But Life Goes On”, 1989)
2. Nirvana 2002 “Mourning” (from the compilation “Projections of a Stained Mind”, 1991)
3. General Surgery “Slithering Maceration of Ulcerous Facial Tissue” (from the 7” EP “Necrology”, 1991)
4. Dismember “Override of the Overture” (from the album “Like an Ever Flowing Stream”, 1991)
5. Grave “Into the Grave” (from the album “Into the Grave”, 1991)
6. Unleashed “Before the Creation” (from the album “Where No Life Dwells”, 1991)
7. Tiamat “Ancient Entity” (from the album “The Astral Sleep”, 1991)
8. Carbonized “Recarbonized” (from the album “For the Security”, 1991)
9. At The Gates “City of Screaming Statues” (from the EP “Gardens of Grief”, 1991)
10. Liers In Wait “Bleeding Shrines of Stone” (from the EP “Spiritually Uncontrolled Art”, 1992)
11. Edge Of Sanity “Enigma” (from the album “Unorthodox”, 1992)
12. Cemetary “Nightmare Lake” (from the album “An Evil Shade of Grey”, 1992)
13. Therion “Symphony of the Dead” (from the album “Beyond Sanctorum”, 1992)
14. Afflicted “Tidings from the Blue Sphere” (from the album “Prodigal Sun”, 1992)
15. Marduk “Still Fucking Dead (Here’s No Peace)” (from the album “Dark Endless”, 1992)
16. Dissection “Black Horizons” (from the album “The Somberlain”, 1993)

CD3:

1. Evocation “Through the Darkened Peril” (from the demo tape “The Ancient Gate”, 1992)
2. Séance “Reincarnage” (from the demo tape “Levitised Spirit”, 1991)
3. Toxaemia “Beyond the Realm” (from the 7” EP “Toxaemia”, 1990)
4. Furbowl “Shark Heaven” (from the demo tape “The Nightfall of Your Heart”, 1991)
5. Suffer “Human Flesh” (from the demo tape “Manifestation of God”, 1991)
6. Traumatic “A Perfect Night to Masturbate” (from the demo tape “A Perfect Night to Masturbate”, 1991)
7. Macrodex “Necrophilicide” (from the demo tape “Remains of a Lost Life”, 1990)
8. House Of Usher “Rather Black” (from the 7” EP “On the Very Verge”, 1991)
9. Crypt Of Kerberos “The Ancient War” (from the 7” EP “Cyclone of Insanity”, 1992)
10. Eternal Darkness “Psychopath” (from the 7” EP “Doomed”, 1992)
11. Interment “Morbid Death” (from the demo tape “Where Death Will Increase”, 1991)
12. Uncanny “Transportation to the Uncanny” (from the demo tape “Transportation to the Uncanny”, 1991)
13. S. G. R. “Die In Agony” (from the demo tape “Massdevastation”, 1992)
14. Sarcasm “In Hate …” (from the demo tape “In Hate …” 1992)
15. Crematory “Enshrouded (in the River of Eternity)” (from the demo tape “Netherworlds of the Mind”, 1992)
16. Necrony “Under the Black Soil” (from the “Promo-Tape 93–94”, 1994)
17. Repugnant “Spawn of Pure Malevolence” (from the demo tape “Spawn of Pure Malevolence”, 1998)
18. Katalysator “Mass Genocide Ritual” (from the demo tape “Mass Genocide Ritual”, 2007)

All of these tracks are rare, and are of high quality. Over 70% of the tracks are appearing on CD for the first time. The compilation is to be released by Prophecy Productions/ Lupus Lounge in digipack form, and contains loads of extras including introductory text and extensive liner notes penned by Ekeroth. In short, this is the quintessential accompaniment to “Swedish Death Metal” by Ekeroth, covering the history of the genre (I won’t bother reviewing this “must have” book, as Cosmo has already perfectly described it. See below.)

This monstrous compilation is an aural history of the early days of the genre (and sub-genres as the inevitable splintering began), as each important band is represented as only an insider such as Ekeroth can know. The Sunlight sound, the beginnings of melodic death metal and Swedish black metal, and the atmospheric touches brought to the genre are all represented in over 200 minutes of music. What more can you ask for?! What the Hell are you waiting for?!

Links

Buy

Prophecy/ Lupus Lounge

Bazillion Points

Cosmo's review of Swedish Death Metal

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weapon "Drakonian Paradigm"



Weapon- Drakonian Paradigm

(The AJNA Offensive)

Primitive black metal from a quartet from Edmonton, Canada, with roots in Bangladesh, Weapon is the creation of Vetis Monarch. Interestingly, although trivial, Monarch lived for a time in Bangladesh and recorded Weapon’s demo and first 7” there prior to re-settling in Canada. With a revamped lineup, the fully formed Weapon now issues the debut full-length, entitled “Drakonian Paradigm” on The AJNA Offensive.

Playing 80s-era, early black metal with a mid-paced tempo and, initially, a primitive sound, Weapon are a nice throwback to the days of Hellhammer, early Sodom, Bathory, and the like. Taking a no frills approach to their attack, Weapon lay on plenty of rather sloppily played, mid-paced black metal with slimy atmosphere. Simple riffs, greasy rasps, a percussion that mostly takes on a mid-paced tempo, and a low-fi, deep production perfectly accompany the misanthropic disgust with which Weapon portray their music.

Not all of Weapon's chosen means of assault are purely vicious, though, as there are lots of surprising moments of melody with acoustical guitars, soloing, and the odd appearance of keyboards. In addition, although initially primitive sounding, the song structures are rather interesting with an atypical mix of all out black metal and the milder, introspective moments that incorporate older elements of just pure heavy metal. In short, Weapon have found a unique take on an old genre.

“Drakonian Paradigm” will certainly appeal to old hands such as myself that are looking for a throwback to the days of old, but the interesting mix of structures within songs will also appeal to those looking for atypical black metal. Recommended.

Links

Weapon Official MySpace

The AJNA Offensive

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ensiferum "From Afar"



Ensiferum- From Afar

(Spinefarm Records)

I must admit that I really liked “Victory Songs”, Ensiferum’s prior full-length from 2007, with its well written mix of Scandinavian folk melodies incorporated within a thrash metal base. By playing with a harder edge, Ensiferum manage to avoid the pitfalls that Korpiklaani and others have fallen into with an endless revolving door of albums filled with the same sort of “bouncy” songs in play over and over. Ensiferum have also capitalized on their winning formula with a big growth in popularity, particularly here in the United States. Yet another headlining tour of America is imminent this fall, this time in support of the band’s latest full-length, entitled “From Afar” from Spinefarm Records.

It’s pretty obvious very quickly that Ensiferum are merely playing it safe with “From Afar”; that is, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The band’s now tried and true formula of generally fast songs with soaring, epic riffs backed up by keyboards, folk melodies, clean female vocals, and what have you are all present in spades on “From Afar”. All of it, of course, is pulled off very well as Ensiferum are obviously excellent musicians who can more than adequately write fun, engaging songs that you can’t help but hum along to, but there’s something lacking on “From Afar”. By becoming overly comfortable with their formula, Ensiferum seem to have dialed it back a notch and the songs lack a certain punch. In other words, you’ve heard all of this before from the band, done better with a harder edge, and you may have been expecting something more on “From Afar”.

This complaint aside, “From Afar” is still a fun album with my sincere recommendation, and Ensiferum are highly entertaining in a live setting. Just don’t expect anything more than what you’ve already heard.

Links

Ensiferum Official MySpace

Spinefarm Records

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Few Against Many "Sot"



The Few Against Many- Sot

(Pulverised Records)

A veritable who’s who of hard hitting melodic death metal scene veterans make up The Few Against Many, a band that includes Christian Alvestam, Par Johannson, and just about everyone else from Incapacity and/ or Torchbearer. In short, if you’ve grown tired of the watered down melodic death metal that has diluted the genre, and yearn for the days of genuine heaviness with the added doses of well-placed melody and progressive tendencies, then look no further than The Few Against Many.

Sporting a huge, beefy guitar production, “Sot”, the debut full-length issued on Pulverised Records (where else?), is full of catchy songs, rough vocals, fast riffs, and just the right amount of melody and progressive touches. Although not really my genre of choice, I wholeheartedly prefer my melodic death metal tending towards bands such as Edge of Sanity, older Dark Tranquillity, and so on, rather than Omnium Gatherum and like sounding bands. As a hint that The Few Against Many tend towards this direction, the cover art is by genre veteran Dan Seagrave, and The Few Against Many fit the bill with a focus upon riffing, bursts of speed, and rough vocals. Plenty of melody creeps in with slower guitar work and the use of flashy keyboards that greatly remind me of 70s era classic, progressive rock. Although somewhat overbearing and most definitely at the forefront of the band’s sound, the keyboard work does fit the guitar perfectly without robbing the music of the necessary heaviness.

Although a generally heavy take on the genre, I would like to see The Few Against Many really open it up with speed and brutality, though. At just the right moments for this plunge to seemingly be about to occur, The Few Against Many back away from the precipice and downshift into a mid-paced tempo with melody. Luckily, these transitions are well done and the melodies are well written such that “Sot” is a very enjoyable album.

I must say that I enjoyed this album much more than the debut from Miseration, another of Alvestam’s recent projects. “Sot” is recommended.

Links

The Few Against Many Official MySpace

Pulverised Records

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Storm of Light "Forgive Us Our Trespasses"



A Storm of Light- Forgive Us Our Trespasses

(Neurot Recordings)

The varied New York heavy music scene produces A Storm of Light, a quartet from Brooklyn issuing their second full-length, entitled “Forgive Us Our Trespasses” on Neurot Recordings. Using nature’s reclamation of the Earth from an extinct mankind as a theme (the photo collages presented throughout the album layout are wonderfully done), I was fully expecting from A Storm of Light some version of post-metal. Although the cavernous space and crushing, dirge-like chords of post-metal are there, I’m mostly reminded of grunge, actually, as A Storm of Light’s main influence, albeit with a slow pacing. For example, vocalist/ guitarist Josh Graham is obviously influenced by the late Layne Staley and, perhaps, Chris Cornell. The same sort of inflection and vocal cadence as that of Staley is present with Graham, but the steadiness and dynamics with which Staley was able to deliver his mournful performance is somewhat lacking.

Although only flirting with metal, I do appreciate some of the more metallic aspects of grunge (well, mostly “Dirt” and “Badmotorfinger”, but, I digress) if the riffing is catchy and the songs are well written. “Forgive Us Our Trespasses” has the slow, crushing riffs, but the songwriting is only adequate and many of the tracks just aren’t memorable. There are a couple of exceptions, most notably “Across The Wilderness”, but I come away somewhat disappointed by “Forgive Us Our Trespasses”. In addition, there are a couple of throwaway tracks with a voiceover that reminds me, of all things, of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. The character seems to be there to reinforce the lyrical themes, but isn’t necessary to do so.

To these ears, although only nominally metal, I felt that A Storm of Light have somewhat missed the mark. The potential for some great songs are present on “Forgive Us Our Trespasses”, but an upgrade in songwriting is in order.

Links

A Storm of Light Official MySpace

Neurot Recordings

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Five from DeepSend Records



Here’s a quick look at five new albums from artists signed to DeepSend Records.



First up is a five-piece from The Netherlands called Expulsion. Playing death/ thrash with plenty of the requisite speed and riffing, I’m greatly reminded of Kreator on Expulsion’s debut full-length entitled “Wasteworld”. Take some of Kreator’s early albums (post- “Pleasure To Kill”), ramp up the speed, and you’re pretty close. The riffs and speed fly at you fast and furious (Expulsion employ a technique called string skipping to great effect), and the songs tend not to linger for very long before moving on to the next track. There are a few melodic, slower moments with a mid-paced tempo, but the focus is definitely upon fast riffs for most of the album. Other late 80s thrash influences can be heard with two short pieces that would’ve been right at home on “… And Justice For All”, and the melodic moments that occur on “Wasteworld” are influenced by classic Metallica. In short, “Wasteworld” is a solid entry in the death/thrash genre.



“Days of Night” is the third full-length from Oakland’s Antagony, and first album in four years. A band saddled in the past by numerous lineup changes, “Days of Night” is a combination of hardcore, Slayer-esque thrash metal (in particular, the opening track), and melodic metalcore. For the most part, the formula works with a deep sounding production, plenty of crushing heaviness, and rough vocals. However, throughout “Days of Night” and in a very jarring manner, the band will totally switch gears and really lighten the sound with slow moments of introspective melody (a cello interlude is quite interesting). In addition, the somewhat annoying high-pitched metalcore screams make numerous appearances during these passages, and I find myself immediately gravitating towards the album’s harder hitting moments. The end result of “Days of Night” is an uneven release with some songs being impressive, and others causing me to reach for the skip button.



Switzerland’s Unholy Matrimony is up next with “Croire, Decroitre”, the third full-length from this one man project. Most notably, Vladimir Cochet, the brains behind Unholy Matrimony, is also the man behind the rather well known solo project Mirrorthrone. Unlike Mirrorthrone, Unholy Matrimony is blast away, fast black metal with plenty of frenetic riffing, all out blasts, a throaty rasp, and a thick, audible bass. Given Cochet’s experience in songwriting and putting together cohesive projects all by himself, you’d expect some fairly mature work here, and “Croire, Decroitre” delivers with some excellent, if typical, fast black metal. A minor complaint is that the drumming is quite obviously programmed, and Unholy Matrimony would greatly benefit from a live drummer.



“Poisoned Legacy” is the debut full-length from The Cleansing, a straightaway death metal band from Denmark made up of members with plenty of experience in the Danish death metal scene. Featuring members from Usipian, Iniquity, and Exmortem amongst others, The Cleansing take plenty of fast blasts and add plenty of brutality, groove, the odd moment of melody, and a deep, bottom heavy production to their approach. The result is solid, well done death metal with a chunky, American sound. In short, “Poisoned Legacy” stands up very well with other albums from the established Danish scene.



Last up is another stalwart from the Danish death metal scene, Dawn of Demise. Dawn of Demise greatly impressed me, along with just about everyone else, with their debut full-length from 2007, entitled “Hate Takes It’s Form”. Like The Cleansing, Dawn of Demise play an American-style of death metal with great songwriting, riffs and chops, musicianship, the works. “Lacerated” is a five song stopgap EP between full-lengths, and features two original tracks along with three covers (“Infecting The Crypts”, “Blinded By Fear”, and “Turned Inside Out”). If nothing else, “Lacerated” will tide you over as you await the next full-length, but I wholeheartedly recommend “Hate Takes Its Form”.

In all, a solid set of releases from DeepSend Records.

Links

DeepSend Records

Expulsion Official MySpace

Antagony Official MySpace

Unholy Matrimony Official MySpace

The Cleansing Official MySpace

Dawn of Demise Official MySpace

Saturday, October 10, 2009

At War "Infidel"



At War- Infidel

(Heavy Artillery Records)

A bit of personal history is in order here. I grew up in the heyday of thrash metal during the 1980s. I started high school in 1982, and my friends and I eagerly snatched up everything we could find connected to thrash in our various neighborhood record stores. Naturally, mixed in amongst the gems were lots of crap releases from mediocre bands and even more mediocre record labels. As the retro thrash bandwagon has gotten really rolling over the last two years, some of those crappy bands have made a stab at a comeback of sorts in order to cash in on some their notoriety. I can’t say that I blame them.

At any rate, one of the record labels that really turned me off at the time was New Renaissance Records. One of my pet peeves at the time, and still to this day, was thrash metal with really shitty production. New Renaissance Records specialized in shitty production. Bands such as Blood Feast, Medieval (in particular), and even Executioner were really given the shaft by their association with NR, as I and most of my friends gave up on those bands due to their abhorrent sound. In addition, as far as I can remember, hardly any of the bands on the NR label toured much, if at all, as it became obvious that the label had no money to spend in supporting their band roster. Hell, even the artwork on most of these releases was juvenile, at best. OK, one or two noteworthy bands emerged and, thankfully, successfully jumped to other labels, but most of the roster faded into obscurity.

At War emerged around the time that I personally gave up on NR, and I never bothered to investigate their two full-lengths. After “Retaliatory Strike”, At War also disappeared and I forgot all about them. As you might guess, the burgeoning retro thrash bandwagon has revived At War, and they’ve decided to give it another go around on Heavy Artillery Records with the newly released “Infidel”, their first full-length since 1988. Forgetting about past associations, I know that this band has some notoriety and I went into this one with eyes wide open.

Sure enough, At War still retain, intended or not, some pretty lousy, cheap 80s-era production with a buried guitar sound, flat sounding drums, vocals that are too prominent in the mix (sort of remind me of Algy Ward from Tank, if you remember them, along with a decided hardcore influence), a low bass, and so on. Some of the newer, current retro thrash bands are able to pull this off and still sound interesting, but any sense of freshness is immediately lost with this choice of production aesthetic (OK, it’s not nearly as bad as the typical NR stuff back in the day, but it’s not great). That said, though, a listener must look past his own prejudices and hear what is being offered. For the most part, what is being offered is pretty generic, second tier thrash with a Motorhead-ish vibe mixed in with jingoistic themes. The songwriting itself is fairly mediocre, although there are a few interesting, catchy riffs, and the musicianship is pretty simplistic.

In the end, I’m somewhat disappointed as I know that At War are looked on with nostalgic fondness. I fear that “Infidel” will cause At War to fade from view once more.

Links

At War Official MySpace

Heavy Artillery Records Official MySpace

Friday, October 09, 2009

Gnaw Their Tongues "All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity"



Gnaw Their Tongues- All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity

(Crucial Blast)

“Oh, no, not again”, was my reaction to opening a package from Crucial Blast and finding inside the latest full-length from Gnaw Their Tongues in digipack form. For those not in the know, Gnaw Their Tongues is perhaps the most disgusting, disturbing, and just all out grossest exercise in deranged blackened noise that I’ve ever heard. A one man project, courtesy of Mories (also of the more traditional, if still disturbing, black metal project De Magia Veterum), from The Netherlands, “All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity” continues GTT’s fascination with perverse bondage imagery overlaying a cacophony of horror-inducing noise.

As far as I can tell, not much has changed since “An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood”, GTT’s last full-length from 2007. The same kaleidoscopic maelstrom of screams, rasps, howls of torture, the odd cascade of bass (deeply heavy this time around), synthesizer, percussion with little to no discernible structure, and wall of deep, almost subliminal harmonic noise continues for an incredibly mind numbing length of just over an hour on this release (there are three additional “bonus tracks” for those of you insane enough to track down the vinyl release). Adding further to the unease and disgust is the truly disturbing, sadistic bondage imagery that will cause one to doubt the artist’s sense of moral compass.

The end result of all of this is surprisingly listenable (well, at least once), and is obviously a sort of “I dare you to listen to this, and appreciate it” sort of challenge. The daring is self-explanatory for those of you seeking a challenging listening experience, and the appreciation comes in the fact that a lot of thought and effort went into constructing “All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity”. Something like this could easily be simply unlistenable and dismissed out of hand, yet, you find yourself compelled to listen. The album is probably the closest one could get to laying down an audio soundtrack to the most disturbing depths of the human soul.

I can’t say that I recommend “All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity” by GTT, nor can I say that I’ll ever come back to the album. But, if you’re looking for the most abhorrent, yet still successful, album ever written, “All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity” certainly is a candidate. Decide for yourself.

Links

Gnaw Their Tongues Official MySpace

Crucial Blast

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dying Fetus "Descend Into Depravity"



Dying Fetus- Descend Into Depravity

(Relapse Records)

Dying Fetus, one of death metal’s “meat and potatoes” bands, return with “Descend Into Depravity” (Relapse Records), their sixth full-length. Although Dying Fetus are well regarded, they’ve had, frankly, some poor, rather sterile, production on albums that should have been absolute monsters. In addition, although “Destroy The Opposition” and “Stop At Nothing” are well written, the follow up to “Stop At Nothing” after a four-year hiatus, “War Of Attrition”, wasn’t very memorable with a decided downturn in songwriting. As a result, Dying Fetus faded somewhat.

Through it all, however, the band would tour. I’ve managed to see them twice over the last few years, and they really hit the mark in a live setting, even as a leaned out trio. As you watch Dying Fetus perform, you can’t help but wonder why this band hasn’t risen to the absolute top tier of death metal. That may all change with “Descend Into Depravity”, the Dying Fetus album that finally has it all.

Dying Fetus haven’t changed their sound, as the music is full of frenetic riffs and arpeggios from Gallagher, rolling bursts of speed from drummer Trey Williams (a fine addition to the lineup as Williams is able to nail that grindcore-tinged approach to the percussion), and a weighty bass from Sean Beasley. The songs are noticeably better written than those on “War Of Attrition”, but the biggest factor for the jump in quality is the huge improvement in production. “Descend Into Depravity” has a really thick sound that resonates and flattens the listener. The production, combined with excellent, varied songs spread out over a relatively short 33 minutes, should vault “Descend Into Depravity” into numerous end of the year “best of” lists, including my own.

With “Descend Into Depravity”, Dying Fetus have made a serious statement of death metal supremacy, and their best days may now be upon them. Buy or die.

Links

Dying Fetus Official MySpace

Relapse Records

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Shrinebuilder



Shrinebuilder- Self-Titled

(Neurot Recordings)

Certainly, the anticipation surrounding the imminent release of the debut from this project has been building over the last few months. A collaboration featuring a veritable who’s-who of stoner/ doom/ sludge giants, Shrinebuilder consists of Scott “Wino” Weinrich, Al Cisneros, Scott Kelly, and Dale Crover. The debut full-length, simply entitled “Shrinebuilder” on Neurot Recordings, drops in October.

What’s most noteworthy, to me at least, is that the ever increasingly prolific Wino has forged yet another project, and has steered that project towards a quick release. Juggling multiple releases on different labels (“Punctuated Equilibrium” is also newly released on Southern Lord from Wino’s self-titled project) is probably quite a feat, so kudos are due to Wino and his obviously driven work ethic, along with that of his Shrinebuilder band mates.

At any rate, the promo CD sent out by Neurot Recordings is only 4/5 of the complete release, and the album definitely has an unfinished feel to it. Pretty much, the music is as you would expect; that is, a heady mix of stoner, doom, and psychedelics with a dual vocal attack from Wino and Al Cisneros, as well as contributions from the other members. Huge, thick riffs mix easily with droning psychedelics throughout the four songs presented with this promo. Add some punishing, mid-paced percussion from Crover, a sound that is, frankly, closer to Sleep than any of Wino’s recent projects, and the potential for a gigantic release that more than fulfills the promise is there.

However, I found this release to be less than what I had originally hoped for. Frankly, the songwriting sort of meanders a bit and, although the psychedelic moments are well done and evocative of classic Sleep, the harder hitting moments just don’t really compare to Om, Wino’s other recent projects, and what have you. In the end, I come away disappointed. Part of the reason may be that the album is only 4/5 of what will actually be released (I am curious to hear the unrelelased fifth track, “Science and Anger”), but “Punctuated Equilibrium” is a better album.

It’s hard to say that I cannot recommend an album featuring Wino, but that’s the case with “Shrinebuilder”.

Links

Shrinebuilder Official MySpace

Neurot Recordings

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Insomnium "Across The Dark"



Insomnium- Across The Dark

(Candlelight Records)

Finland’s Insomnium return after a three-year hiatus with “Across The Dark” on Candlelight Records, their first album since 2006's "Above The Weeping World". I haven’t listened to Insomnium all that much since the release of “Above The Weeping World” as the band resides somewhat outside my genres of choice. However, for their brand of mid-paced melodic doom/ death metal with symphonic elements, Insomnium are at or near the peak of the sub-genre.

“Across The Dark” largely continues the band’s sound from “Above The Weeping World” with a tapestry of mid-paced melodic death/ doom metal with plenty of melodies, outstanding musicianship, and strong songwriting. Other elements include some clean vocals and light keyboards. The overall feel of the music is one of loss and sorrow, as the slow to mid-paced tempo and mournful guitar melodies contribute to an overall feeling of melancholy. Most of the album consists of a slow pace, but “Against The Stream” has some up tempo moments. As expected, the production is clean and each instrument is mixed well. Essentially, the album is identical in tone to “Above The Weeping World”, and fans of that album will, no doubt, find much to like with “Across The Dark”.

There’s no doubt that Insomnium are excellent musicians and songwriters, but this genre is simply not my thing and I find myself bored with “Across The Dark” pretty rapidly. This is, of course, merely a reflection of my own tastes and is not intended to detract from Insomnium in any way. That said, though, “Across The Dark” will probably appeal most to fans of the melodic death/ doom sub-genre.

Links

Imsomnium Official MySpace

Candlelight Records USA

Candlelight Records UK

Monday, October 05, 2009

Skyfire "Esoteric"



Skyfire- Esoteric

(Pivotal Rockordings)

Sweden’s Skyfire return on Pivotal Rockordings with their third full-length, entitled “Esoteric”, and their first album since 2004. Not really being familiar with Skyfire prior to this release, the band is treading the well worn ground of progressive, melodic death metal with hugely pompous keyboards, alternating tempos, both rough and clean vocals, and lots of fluid, melodic guitar work.

Certainly, the musicianship and production to be found on “Esoteric” are all quite good, but I found the songs on “Esoteric” to be interchangeable and lacking distinction. Throughout the album, the focus is upon the keyboards at the expense of riffs, whether the pace be quick or slow. When the guitars are at the forefront of the music, the focus is upon soloing rather than forging a solid backbone to the album in the form of memorable riffing. This decided lack of emphasis upon crunchy guitar work is the key to what is wrong with this release for me. The lack of interesting riffs robs the music of any heft or memorable qualities, and you find yourself instantly forgetting about each song as soon as it’s finished.

I’ll be the first to admit that my own personal tastes are somewhat coloring this review as I’ve not much interest in melodic death metal (the term “death metal” is really a stretch when describing Skyfire, though). But, what’s readily apparent is that Skyfire are a solidly second tier band. Most of the qualities for a solid album in “Esoteric” are there (musicianship, production, and so on), but the songwriting is mediocre.

“Esoteric” will probably appeal to those with a huge taste for saccharine, overly melodic Swedish death metal, but this album lacks the necessary punch.

Links

Skyfire Official MySpace

Pivotal Rockordings

Sunday, October 04, 2009

SubArachnoid Space "Eight Bells"



SubArachnoid Space- Eight Bells

(Crucial Blast)

SubArachnoid Space are an instrumental quartet currently residing in Portland, Oregon, and are anchored by longtime guitarist Melynda Jackson (she is a founding member of the band, which was first put together in 1995). Jackson, originally from the windswept plains of Texas, infuses SubArachnoid Space with the purpose of exploring her muse through the use of guitar and the inclusion of a few, minor vocalizations. After numerous lineup changes, “Eight Bells” is her project’s eighth full-length, and is released on Crucial Blast Records, a label with a varied roster.

I’m not familiar with SubArachnoid Space prior to this release, but “Eight Bells” is a kaleidoscopic mix of different genres, all woven together into a cohesive whole. In all honesty, you’d be hard-pressed to call SubArachnoid Space metal, although a certain cavernous space, replete with heavy chords similar to those found in post-metal (that I’ve heard, anyway; post-metal is not really my thing), are present. Lots of progressive elements are also woven in with plenty of psychedelic musings, all done with guitar and a few synthesizer effects that mostly consist of harmonics. Every so often, as mentioned, a few heavy, metallic chords make an entrance. Percussion, when present, ranges in tempo from a slow dirge to a few up-tempo moments. Somewhat surprisingly, the album is actually quite short for the genre, clocking in at about 37 minutes spread out over five songs. The relatively short length actually works quite well as the instrumentals explore different aspects of guitar work, and then move on before boring the listener.

For the most part, “Eight Bells” is engaging, but I found myself mostly drawn to the psychedelic moments as I have a soft spot for such music. The more up-tempo, rock oriented passages (apparently, SubArachnoid Space incorporate elements of “Krautrock” into their music, but I’m not familiar with the genre) were a bit too progressive and too far from metal to greatly interest me, though. Certainly, those of you willing to explore different sounds on the fringes of metal may find something to like in SubArachnoid Space.

Links

SubArachnoid Space Official MySpace

Crucial Blast

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Black "Alongside Death"



The Black- Alongside Death

(Pulverised Records)

The late Jon Nodtveidt is best known (musically, anyway) for his work in Dissection. However, he did contribute to other projects prior to his incarceration. One of those projects was a raw black metal act from Sweden known as The Black. The Black managed one album, “Priest of Satan”, which was released in 1994 on the now defunct Necropolis Records. Make Pesonen, founding member of The Black, has recruited a new lineup for the release of a new full-length, entitled “Alongside Death”, on the increasingly reliable Pulverised Records.

“Alongside Death”, like “Priest of Satan”, is essentially Darkthrone worship, pure and simple, albeit with a crisp production that still projects an air of raw atmosphere and slimy darkness. A mix of tempos, rasped vocals, a low-fi vibe with buzzing guitars that manages to sound modern, and simple, catchy songs combine together to basically give you a well-executed black metal album that is obviously descended from the early work of Darkthrone.

Of course, “Alongside Death” is not exactly original, but in this day and age of nostalgic looks at old school genres of old, that shouldn’t put you off as The Black, with a roster of scene veterans, obviously know their way around black metal aesthetics. In short, this is well done black metal and will be appreciated by genre fans.

If you’ve been endlessly awaiting new full-lengths from other similar acts such as Sargeist and Craft, then look no further than “Alongside Death”.

Links

The Black Official MySpace

Pulverised Records

Friday, October 02, 2009

Pestilential Shadows "In Memoriam, Ill Omen"



Pestilential Shadows- In Memoriam, Ill Omen

(Pulverised Records)

Pestilential Shadows are an Australian band cobbled together from members serving time in other noted acts, such as the recently reinvigorated Naxzul. Playing melodic black metal with a raw sound, but without any use of saccharine keyboards, Pestilential Shadows can certainly play their instruments and write songs that, if not wholly original, are at least interesting and are solidly within the genre. “In Memoriam, Ill Omen” is the second full-length from Pestilential Shadows, and is released on Pulverised Records (the releases just keep coming faster and faster from this label with a seemingly global reach).

Pestilential Shadows are treading well worn ground here with a range of tempos, a generally melodic take on the genre with buzzing guitars and rasped vocals, and good songwriting. Try as I might, however, I just cannot get into this release. An insurmountable problem with “In Memoriam, Ill Omen” is the production that completely misses the mark. I suspect that the intention here is to create a melancholic atmosphere with a fuzzy, low end production, but that’s not the end result. The production is completely watered down, robs the music of any heft, particularly in the tinny sounding percussion, and just falls flat with far too clean of a sound. I found this to be extremely annoying and, although there’s quality musicianship and songwriting going on with Pestilential Shadows, I found it difficult to get through the album in one sitting without my attention just drifting away. Certainly, there are plenty of releases out there with incredibly low-fi production and slimy atmosphere (Black Funeral), but Pestilential Shadows end up with a release that is just too clean and flat sounding for its own good.

In short, although there’s potential here, “In Memoriam, Ill Omen” is not one of the better releases on Pulverised Records’ roster.

Links

Pestilential Shadows Official MySpace

Pulverised Records

Thursday, October 01, 2009

My Own Grave "Necrology"



My Own Grave- Necrology

(Pulverised Records)

What began as a trickle of albums at the end of 2008 has now become a torrent. OSDM/ NOSDM has exploded of late with albums coming faster and faster from classic bands newly revitalized, and upstarts eager to carry forward with a genre that has been ignored until recently. OSDM also got a huge shot in the arm with MDF, and bands will undoubtedly begin touring in the fall to bring the genre back to the masses (I’d so like to see all-things-core go the way of nu metal). Sooner or later, though, all of this will undoubtedly devolve into a sea of mediocrity (retro-thrash did almost as soon as it began with, admittedly, a few exceptions), but, thankfully, that hasn’t happened yet.

Establishing themselves in the OSDM/ NOSDM movement are Pulverised Records with a roster of promising acts. One of their fresher faces belongs to Sweden’s My Own Grave with “Necrology”, the band's second full-length. I’m not familiar with past efforts by My Own Grave, but I suspect that a change in sound has occurred with the band as Encyclopaedia Metallum has them listed as melodic death metal. That’s not, or no longer, the case as “Necrology” is pure OSDM with crushing riffs, a deep production, bursts of speed, and a sloppiness that OSDM purists such as myself will find instantly appealing. Highly infectious, of course, are the riffs that have that patented “meat and potatoes” sound so important to OSDM.

Although not original by any stretch, “Necrology” demonstrates that there is still a lot of life left in OSDM. Buy or die.

Links

My Own Grave Official MySpace

Pulverised Records