Mark Z.

Wömit seasön!
Temple Nightside – Pillars of Damnation Review

Temple Nightside – Pillars of Damnation Review

“Readers of this site will not find it surprising when I say that I love blackened death metal of the chaotic and brutal variety, with groups like Impiety, Archgoat, and Angelcorpse being some of my favorites. In the last decade, however, a new strain of blackened death metal came to prominence that seemed to prioritize atmosphere and uneasiness above all else. Some of the more notable bands in this category are Portal, Abyssal, and Teitanblood—groups whose work I respect, even if it doesn’t resonate with me as deeply. When I grabbed Pillars of Damnation, the fourth album by Australia’s Temple Nightside, I had no idea what strain of blackened death metal it would be.” Cavern kegger.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nifelheim – Servants of Darkness

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nifelheim – Servants of Darkness

“There’s something immensely satisfying about listening to musicians who are utterly devoted to their craft. In the realm of blackened thrash, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who fits that description more than Nifelheim‘s founding members, Swedish twins Erik “Tyrant” and Per “Hellbutcher” Gustavsson. These are the guys who apparently kicked out their first guitarist for being “wimpy” enough to have a girlfriend, the guys who once claimed that Venom is the most recent band they actually like.” Trve darkness.

Draconis – Anthems for an Eternal Battle Review

Draconis – Anthems for an Eternal Battle Review

“There’s something special about South American death metal. I don’t know what it is, but the continent seems to have no shortage of bands that pair a raw, uncompromising, and wholly sincere approach with a strange and otherworldly mystique. Peru’s Mortem and Chile’s Atomic Aggressor, for instance, both excel at infusing the sound of old Morbid Angel with a sense of ancient and mysterious horror, while Chile’s Death Yell use less discernible influences to craft equally dark and aggressive material. Thus, I was quite excited when AMG Himself recommended I cover Draconis, an Argentinian death metal band who I’ve never heard of before.” Eternal muddle.

Ahtme – Mephitic Review

Ahtme – Mephitic Review

“It’s hard to believe considering my current taste, but back in the mid 00s I consumed all the tech death I could. I devoured Arsis, Deeds of Flesh, Origin, and all the other bands who were just coming into their own in the midst of MySpace and metalcore. My tastes have changed since then, but it doesn’t take much to make me give a genre another try. And by “doesn’t take much,” I mean a Monday night death metal show two years ago that just happened to be taking place at my favorite bar in town.” Easy Z.

Skeletal – Bitterness and Burning Hatred Review

Skeletal – Bitterness and Burning Hatred Review

“I have mixed feelings towards modern death metal. On one hand, you have a lot of bands doing pretty cool stuff, like the warped songwriting of Blood Incantation or the hardcore underpinnings of Xibalba. On the other hand, few of these modern bands are anywhere near as good as the classics. That certainly doesn’t stop them from trying, however, and Finland’s Skeletal are the latest looking to leave their mark on the scene.” Tastes like burning.

Dead Carnage – From Hell for Hate Review

Dead Carnage – From Hell for Hate Review

“Some things seem to be just one tweak away from being great. Dead Carnage is an okay band name, but it seems a bit redundant. Isn’t most carnage dead? Better, I think, would be Live Carnage. The image of butchered and bloody bodies, moaning and clinging to their last vestiges of life, seems a lot more brutal to me than any imagery evoked by “Dead Carnage.” But hey, I’m a guy that listens to Goatpenis—a band’s moniker has never stopped me from checking out an album before.” Live undead.

The Third Kind – Man vs Earth Review

The Third Kind – Man vs Earth Review

“As a reviewer, it always feels good when you correctly identify a band’s influences. Hmm, I thought to myself upon first listening to The Third Kind‘s Man vs Earth debut, this kind of sounds like All Out War. It turns out there’s a good reason for that. Formed in 2015, Kind count All Out War guitarist Taras Apuzzo amongst their ranks, along with other members from a slew of New York hardcore bands.” Earth had it coming.

Fornicus – Sulphuric Omnipotence Review

Fornicus – Sulphuric Omnipotence Review

Fornicus was a name I never expected to see in our promo bin again. Formed in 2012, this Kentucky group first came to my attention with their terrific 2014 debut Storming Heaven, a sweaty and dynamic piece of blackened death metal that at times reminded me of other great American acts like Ares Kingdom and Abominant.” What’s burning? YOU!

Violent Hammer – Riders of the Wasteland Review

Violent Hammer – Riders of the Wasteland Review

“Formed way back in 2006, Hammer feel less like a band that’s been honing their sound and more like one that’s been waiting for the right time to unleash it. This is primitive death metal that’s more abusive than innovative and yet still offers no easy points of comparison. It’s as if the early works of death metal and grindcore were stirred together in a bloody concoction, shoved in the furnace of black metal, and then crystallized in a raw, violent, and merciless final product that feels just as cutthroat as the band name and album title suggest.” Hammer smash!