Black Breath

The Plague – Within Death Review

The Plague – Within Death Review

“I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been spinning Black Breath‘s Sentenced to Life a lot recently. Maybe it was the epic face-kicking that I received from the recent Enforced release, but something made me seek out even more crossover bludgeonry by which to flagellate myself. Sentenced to Life saw the Seattle band blending crossover thrash with the rumbling HM-2 Swedish death metal of Entombed and Dismember, and the results were pretty glorious, earning the coveted 5.0 from my predecessor in unbridled optimism, Happy Metal Guy himself. Well, between this preparation and my recent Entombed kick following the passing of L.G. Petrov, I was primed to reach for the next buzzsaw promo I found. It sounds distasteful to say at a time like this, but bring on The Plague!” Get down with it.

Estuarine – Nyarlathotep Review

Estuarine – Nyarlathotep Review

“I’m not sure why we have a general rule against EP’s, but I imagine that it has something to do with the brevity of the content. We don’t get a good representation of the artist if we’re only given a few songs to work with, while full-lengths are intended as cohesive works and can showcase the effectiveness of an artist to create them. Grind, however, throws a big ol’ middle finger at this in favor of beatdown explosions that sneer in the face of subtlety with the dumbest grin possible. A grind full-length can be anywhere between fifteen and thirty minutes, and even then, Estuarine‘s ten minutes is challenging brevity.” One-man grind to kick some behind.

Enforced – Kill Grid Review

Enforced – Kill Grid Review

“Oh man, have I been excited to get my hands on this one. In 2019, I happened upon the promo for At the Walls, the debut record from Richmond, Virginia crossover thrash act Enforced. The album was a combination of previously-released demo and EP tracks with some newer material, and while this may have resulted in some minor consistency issues, that thing riffed hard, riffed often, and barely missed my 2019 year-end list. The thought of a follow-up record written in one, cohesive go was tantalizing, and my excitement only grew when I heard that Enforced was picked up by Century Media last year. But at the same time, when a raw, passionate band moves to a bigger label, I always get a bit nervous.” Dying on the grid.

The Generals – To Hell Review

The Generals – To Hell Review

The Generals are a Swedish quartet from Åmål, releasing two full-lengths and a split since their 2002 formation. 2009 debut Stand Up Straight and 2013’s Blood for Blood were both solid slabs of Wolverine Blues mimicry that, despite their simplicity, had no need to fix what wasn’t broken. To Hell, the first effort since 2013, continues and capitalizes upon its “death metal-cigarette with a rock ‘n’ roll filter” aesthetic with chunky riffs, blazing solos, pissed-off barks, and a Swedeath buzzsaw tone that commands respect.” Hell ain’t a bad place.

Rat King – Vicious Inhumanity Review

Rat King – Vicious Inhumanity Review

“Do you want your face ripped off? Are you desiring to have your skull bludgeoned to concussive proportions? Do you want both at once?? Look no further, ’cause deathgrind’s got you covered. From the swanky animal-lovin’ veganity of Cattle Decapitation, the hardcore crusty punch of Misery Index, the tech wankery of Dying Fetus, or the murky brutality of Infernal Coil, it’s a style characterized by one focus: knocking your lights out hard and fast. In spite of the savage atmosphere, it’s a style royally ruled by the the upper echelon of the aforementioned acts, and a trickle-down effect of its underlings.” Reaganomics killing you.

Cleric – Serpent Psalms Review

Cleric – Serpent Psalms Review

“In Cleric‘s own words, their second full-length is “Swedish-style death metal that mixes in the elements of doom that [they] used to play. Think Entombed mixed with Asphyx and pepper with a pinch of Candlemass.” If this is the recipe, boy oh boy, is it tasty.” Taste the Cleric.

Rank and Vile – redistribution of flesh. Review

Rank and Vile – redistribution of flesh. Review

Cherd hides his immense adoration for my skills when he mocks the way I lob pun grenades into the middle of serious conversations in our backchannel communications, but that’s only because he hopes his dad joke skill is up to the challenge of his avatar ascending into toddlerhood. When I saw Rank and Vile in the bin, I couldn’t resist the beautiful play on words in the name. Just look at how ‘Rank‘ is doubly punned — genius!” Thinning the ranks.

Shock Narcotic – I Have Seen The Future And It Doesn’t Work

Shock Narcotic – I Have Seen The Future And It Doesn’t Work

“I’ve been reviewing some long-ass albums lately. In the worship of Swallow the Sun‘s Songs from the North I, II, & III, Bell Witch‘s Mirror Reaper, or even Nightwish‘s Endless Forms Most Beautiful, patient and epic songwriting takes precedence and the portrayal of endless and daunting landscapes in audio form rear their heads. It gets tiring. So I was like, “what the hell?” and went for grind. Shock Narcotic is a grind supergroup from Detroit, their debut album I Have Seen the Future And It Doesn’t Work released through Housecore Records.” Future shock.