Death Metal

Belphegor – Blood Magick Necromance Review

Belphegor – Blood Magick Necromance Review

I’m pretty sure loads of people were waiting for this one with baited black breath. Well, the wait is over and Austrian black/death mongers Belphegor have exceeded expectations to unleash a truly monstrous opus of blasting and burning to blight and ravage all the lands. Prepare thyself for one of the more intense, epic and fucking GREAT blackened death metal albums to come around in a while. Taking the best of both the black and death metal genres and stitching them together into a tentacled, writhing mass of gelatinous evil, Belphegor has created one mercilessly heavy yet strangely melodic beast with Blood Magick and Necromance and in the process, eclipsed the entirety of their past works (no easy feat since their previous releases were very good indeed [note: very good (3.5) is indeed the rating I gave Walpurgis Rites: Hexenwahn – AMG). In case it didn’t come across, I love this album!

Legion of the Damned – Descent Into Chaos Review

Legion of the Damned – Descent Into Chaos Review

Steel Druhm is a famously soft touch for a mean and angry thrash album. Because of this well know thrash predilection, I’ve celebrated the entire catalogue of Dutch death thrashers Legion of the Damned because these guys can really bring the pain. Over four albums, LOTD (formerly known as Occult) have consistently crafted intense, punishing thrash in the vein of old Slayer and Sodom mixed with the more modern death metal approach of bands like The Crown. They certainly aren’t reinventing the thrash metal genre in any way but they always produced quality material. Happily for thrash mavens, after a three year hiatus they manage to keep the spiked ball rolling with Descent Into Chaos and give yet another lesson in violence and aggressive thrashality.

Things You Might Have Missed 2010: Entrails – Tales From the Morgue

Things You Might Have Missed 2010: Entrails – Tales From the Morgue

Yet another great release that seemingly got missed by the metal press,the Entrails debut Tales From the Morgue (available on F.D.A. Rekotz) falls in the same oddball category as Interment’s debut from earlier this year. Both releases are by bands who were at ground zero of the Swedish death metal explosion in the early 90’s but failed to […]

Things You May Have Missed 2010: Adversarial – All Idols Fall Before the Hammer

Things You May Have Missed 2010: Adversarial – All Idols Fall Before the Hammer

Adversarial are a ‘blackened-death’ band from Toronto who’s 2010 debut is out on Dark Descent Records. This is one record that I’d been meaning to get to since I got the promo months ago, but you know, no rest for the angry, so I never got there. Well, not until this week, when I was duly impressed by this band’s chops on their debut record All Idols Fall Before the Hammer. The tracks on here go between blistering and atmospheric, and it’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of death metal.

Things You Might Have Missed 2010: Vex – Thanatopsis

Things You Might Have Missed 2010: Vex – Thanatopsis

In my opinion this is one of the more painfully overlooked records of 2010. In fact, I’ve seen pretty much no press on this album at all, and yet somehow it has just been rockin’ my world since I got my hands on it. Released in September via Horror, Pain, Gore, Death Prod-uctions, Thanatopsis is largely reminiscent of the mighty The Chasm, but has plenty of originality to throw around. The riffs are sometimes blistering and blackened, laden with trem picking and melodic passages, and sometimes the band breaks it down to harmonious doomy, atmospheric parts. In both cases, everything feels in its place and the record flows expertly making for a fantastic listening experience that is both heavy and emotionally evocative.

Hail of Bullets – On Divine Wings Review

Hail of Bullets – On Divine Wings Review

Ah, war. Apparently metal guys never get sick of writing about it. And since Hail of Bullets has apparently decided to become the History Channel of heavy metal bands, I guess it’s appropriate that the band write a concept record about the Second World War, specifically seeming to focus on the Japanese and the war in the Pacific; which, indeed, is the most largely ignored part of the war because it involved fewer Nazis and a lot more Japanese guys. But lots of war did happen there, casualties were indeed quite high and of course the whole shit ended with probably one of the most inhumane acts in the history of the world which is not without its controversies to this day (such as, did the US bomb Japan because of a translation error?).

October Tide – A Thin Shell Review

October Tide – A Thin Shell Review

With the tides come a darkness and oppressive gloom and that gloom is known as October Tide. After resting in deep, dark slumber for the fullness of eleven years, the brainchild of Fredrik Norrman (ex-Katatonia) and Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) crawls back into the light with another monumentally morose death-doom opus titled A Thin Shell. Not too many bands can survive such an extended state of limbo but when Norrman left Katatonia, he decided it was time to resurrect his side-project for a third album without co-founder Renkse. While it was quite natural to doubt a quality comeback or to fear a Katatonia clone, you can put those fears to rest. A Thin Shell is a remarkable album that showcases the beauty that exists in darkness.

The Crown – Doomsday King Review

The Crown – Doomsday King Review

Comebacks. They ain’t so easy to pull off. For every band that produces a glorious reunion album there are four that crash, burn and damage their legacy. Earlier this summer we were blessed by an unexpectedly great reunion album from Accept and now Sweden’s The Crown have pulled off an equally monstrous comeback with Doomsday King. This is their first since 2006’s Possessed 13 and first with new vocalist Jonas Stalhammar (God Macabre) stepping in for Johan Lindstrand. However, make no mistake, this is The Crown of old and they’re storming with menace and out for blood! This is such a furious thrash/death assault that it’s hard to believe these guys were out of action for so long. Whatever they were doing during their down time, it obviously pissed them off and now they need to hurt somebody.

Allegaeon – Fragments of Form and Function Review

Allegaeon – Fragments of Form and Function Review

I read somewhere recently that music reviewers who cite to other bands as a means to explain what an album sounds like do a disservice to themselves as writers by taking shortcuts and a greater disservice to the band by depriving them of individual creative identity. Upon reading this, I felt anger, then shame, then finally, acceptance. I pledged my very next review would be entirely devoid of such pathetic comparisons and my writing would thereby ascend to new heights of greatness. Then I listened to my assigned album and that went out the fucking window. Before me I have the debut album Fragments of Form and Function by Colorado’s own Allegaeon. It’s very good and I like it plenty. However, there is no way I get through this review without the crutch of comparison and I apologize to all who read this forevermore.

Diabolic – Excisions of Exorcisms Review

Diabolic – Excisions of Exorcisms Review

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no matter how immersed one becomes in a specific music scene, you simply can’t be aware of every band in that scene and part of the fun in life is discovering new bands and eagerly delving into their discography. I was unfamiliar with the work of Diabolic although they have been cranking out extreme death metal since 1998 in relative obscurity. Around that timeframe, I was in my “all death is good death” stage so I’m surprised these guys got under the radar, but, so be it. After a four year absence since their last platter, Diabolic now unleashes their fifth album, Excisions of Exorcisms and with this album, I’m getting onboard the Diabolic bandwagon, although not necessarily due to this album. Allow me to explain.