Willowtip

Aodon – 11069 Review

Aodon – 11069 Review

“I don’t often review black metal – but, then again, Willowtip doesn’t often release black metal. Those familiar with the label know it for its commitment to releasing brutal and bizarre death metal. The label counts among its ranks such luminaries as Defeated Sanity, Unfathomable Ruination, and has a history with plenty of other bands who push the boundaries of death metal and grindcore. One wonders what Aodon have to do with all of that. Intrigued, and certain in the label’s ability to sniff out quality acts, I decided to find out.” One of these things is not like the others.

Schizogen – Spawn of Almighty Essence Review

Schizogen – Spawn of Almighty Essence Review

“I try to keep an open mind when it comes to music, seeking out new forms of our favorite genre in hopes of unearthing a new, unpolished gem that, with some sanding down, can shine radiantly on the eyes in the ears of those who will listen. So when a promising new death metal band from a land not known for promising new death metal gets hyped up, I’m going to fixate my ears upon it and give it a listen. Hence, Ukraine’s Schizogen.” Hype and tripe.

Odious Mortem – Synesthesia Review

Odious Mortem – Synesthesia Review

“Yeah baby, a new decade! Everything we did wrong last decade, we’re gonna fix that, you know what I mean? Flannel — it’s gone. Outta here, goodbye. Washington, you’re done. We’re basing the Zeitgeist outside of the Pacific Northwest. New people, new places. It’s gonna be sick! We’re gonna have war in the Middle East predicated on total fabrications! Let’s hear it for world inaction on climate change! Every tech-death band will be from California for some reason! Let’s go, baby, I’m ready to start the 2000s off right! I… Oh.” Mortem and pestilence.

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound Review

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound Review

“Death metal is not a subtle art. Brutal death metal doubly so. Brutal, technical… well you get the point. Unfathomable Ruination exemplify this dearth of subtlety in name but belie it in their music. Their sophomore effort, Finitude, stands as one of the decade’s most punishing yet memorable death metal albums, punctuating each of its songs with a constricting riff or winding lead that seared it instantly into the mind. A great deal of the album’s success came from the band’s shrewd dispensation of show-stoppers, always releasing just enough brilliance to keep the listener wanting more. Apparently unwilling to rest on their laurels, Enraged and Unbound lives up to its predecessor’s unpredictable brutality.” Ruination as hobby.

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.

Ceremony of Silence – Outis Review

Ceremony of Silence – Outis Review

“I’ve always considered myself very fortunate in my taste in metal. Mostly because I’m eclectic enough that I don’t easily bore. I can while away many an hour poring over platters of traditional and retro fare. On the other hand, conceptually opaque music has always fascinated me because it represents an opportunity to learn. Slovakia’s Ceremony of Silence know a little something about the esoteric and are more than willing to share their expertise on debut Oútis.” Learning through brutality.

Hath – Of Rot and Ruin Review

Hath – Of Rot and Ruin Review

“Pure originality is overrated. I mean, yeah, it’s nice when something newfangled pops up and smacks you in the kisser. However, I would much rather see an already existent construct improved upon, re-imagined or perfected in some way. I don’t care if it takes three iterations or four trillion, five-hundred billion, three-hundred-forty-seven million, twenty-thousand-and-two iterations to get there.” If it ain’t broke, improve it!

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

“Dear readers, what are your favorite ’90s progressive or technical death metal albums? Perhaps it’s Cynic‘s legendary Focus, Death‘s Human, Edge of Sanity‘s Crimson, or is it Pestilence and their classic Consuming Impulse opus? Or maybe Atheist‘s brilliant Unquestionable Presence album floats your boat. Or digging deeper, a more left-field choice: Martyr‘s underrated Hopeless Hopes. New York’s Contrarian pay omage to the classic ’90s progressive and technical death scene through their retro and impressively authentic throwback style of spazzed out prog death on their third LP, Their Worm Never Dies.” Undying worms and olde death.

Desecravity – Anathema Review

Desecravity – Anathema Review

“Japan probably isn’t top of the list of countries responsible for propagating the most volatile of technical death metal. Desecravity clearly don’t care for the geographical rank and file, however, as their hyper-proficient assault takes absolutely no prisoners. Anathema is the band’s third foray into profuse precision and exhibits a startling standard of musicianship. But, as with all overtly technical genres, there lingers an elephant in the room… What good is inimitable skill without commensurate song writing? I’ve lost count of the amount of bands I’ve heard over the years who exist, seemingly solely, as an extreme guitar clinic. No attention to structure, no time spent on foundation. Fortunately, Desecravity seem to be aware of this to some degree, but they aren’t entirely out of the woods yet…” Killed by tech.