L. Saunders

Vultur – Drowned in Gangrenous Blood Review

Vultur – Drowned in Gangrenous Blood Review

“The overflowing embarrassment of death metal riches of 2018 was always going to be tough to follow when 2019 rolled around. Not that the year has been lacking in quality death metal, but for the most part the genre hasn’t blown me away. Perhaps an unheralded act is capable of stealing the show as the year winds down. Enter Greece’s Vultur, set to unleash their sophomore album, Drowned in Gangrenous Blood.” Blood drunk.

Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile Review

Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile Review

Cannabis Corpse have gained impressive mileage from their death metal gimmick, mainly through striking a keen balance between their old school Floridian worship, crafty weed and death metal puns, and a blasting sense of fun and technical expertise integrated into their chunky, groove-laced brand of death. The experienced band follow-up 2017’s reliably solid Left Hand Pass on the cheekily titled homage to Cryptopsy‘s classic None So Vile album, here re-dubbed as Nug So Vile.” Smoke damage.

Telepath – Mental Mutations Review

Telepath – Mental Mutations Review

“Although there’s been the odd exception over the years, generally speaking, instrumental metal is not really my bag. Not that I’m incapable of appreciating the often experimental aspects, self-indulgent jams, and technically proficient textures and moods conveyed from purely instrumental forms of metal. But even when vocals can be an afterthought or weak link on certain albums and genres of metal, I still generally prefer the vocal counterpoint. Yet I possess an open mind and variety is the spice of life, so when Telepath‘s Mental Mutations remained unclaimed in the promo portal, I jumped into the unknown with optimism of what may lie ahead.” Tasting the mind of music theory.

Exhumed – Horror Review

Exhumed – Horror Review

“I fucking love Exhumed. The veteran death metal collective have been kicking out their deathly gore metal jams for over 20 years and time has not slowed them down. Quite the opposite in fact, as Exhumed have arguably improved with age, becoming increasingly refined, melodic and technical without sacrificing the raw edge and blood soaked brutality of their early days. And the band has been on quite the hot streak, with their previous offering, 2017’s Death Revenge, continuing the momentum from 2011s potent All Guts, No Glory and 2013’s exceptional Necrocracy albums. On their latest platter of splatter, Exhumed hearken back to their earlier death metal roots, spattered with grind elements.” The horror.

Goatess – Blood and Wine Review

Goatess – Blood and Wine Review

“With tones as murky as three week old bong water and riffs as thick as oak tree trunks, Goatess nail the sonic aesthetics that stoner doom enthusiasts crave. At a whopping 65 minutes in length, Goatess don’t hold back in vomiting their ideas into one marathon package. There’s decent variety within their chosen style and thankfully the more upbeat vibes and stoner cadence generally avoids plodding monotony.” Blood and wine for the Blood and Wine God.

No One Knows What the Dead Think – No One Knows What the Dead Think Review

No One Knows What the Dead Think – No One Knows What the Dead Think Review

“The New Jersey grindcore project No One Knows What the Dead Think boasts impressive lineage, with vocalist Jon Chang (ex-Discordance Axis, Gridlink) and guitarist/bassist Rob Marton (Discordance Axis) tireless veterans of the underground grind scene. Throw in accomplished drummer Kyosuke Nakano (ex-Cohol) and the trio on paper is a force to be reckoned with.” Grind for the thinking dead.

Disillusion – The Liberation Review

Disillusion – The Liberation Review

“I’ve gushed about the astonishing debut album from Germany’s Disillusion before, and consider 2004’s Back to Times of Splendor to be one of melodic death metal’s finest post millennium offerings. Following-up their phenomenal masterwork was always going to be difficult, so rather than repeat themselves Disillusion took a significant and questionable stylistic detour on 2006’s ambitious but underwhelming Gloria. Now, following a Tool-length break from the studio, Disillusion make their long-awaited and highly anticipated return via their third LP, entitled The Liberation.” Under no illusions.

Pandemonium – Monuments of Tragedy Review

Pandemonium – Monuments of Tragedy Review

“My recent hankering for a melodeath fix came via a healthy binge of Edge of Sanity. And for what it may have lacked in innovation, Rogga Johansson‘s latest solo venture also hit the nostalgic sweet spot of the heftier qualities of vintage melodic death. Throw in the impressive debut LP from Eternal Storm and my sometimes dormant hunger for melodeath has been reinvigorated. Enter Sweden’s Pandemonium, a long running yet unfamiliar act returning with their fourth full-length album and first since way back in 2008. A veteran outfit returning to the game after a decade long hiatus creates an interesting proposition.” Long absences and tragic works.

Repent – Condemned to Fail Review

Repent – Condemned to Fail Review

“As I recently noted on my Suicidal Angels review, thrash in 2019 has thrown up some strong albums, without delivering anything particularly unique or earth shattering. Yet there’s been enough quality to renew my faith and enthusiastically plunge into another thrash platter, this time courtesy an unfamiliar but apparently long running German act by the name of Repent. Condemned to Fail marks the band’s fourth LP and first since 2012.” Failing and flailing.

Suicidal Angels – Years of Aggression Review

Suicidal Angels – Years of Aggression Review

The dusty plains of the 2018 thrash scene is a distant memory as we plunge forward with scary rapidness to the pointy end of the year. Thrash hasn’t exactly set the metal scene ablaze in 2019, however there’s at least been a string of solid and noteworthy thrash platters. Greek stalwarts Suicidal Angels return with another retro inspired batch of thrash anthems on seventh album, Years of Aggression.” Decades of aggression.