Death Metal

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.

Severe Torture – Slaughtered Review

Severe Torture – Slaughtered Review

I have to admit right up front that I wasn’t overly familiar with Severe Torture and their cadaver of work prior to getting tasked with this review. I had heard bits and pieces of previous albums but nothing about them ever really grabbed my attention or made me feel the need to track down their material. So as I got familiar with Slaughtered, this Dutch death metal band’s fifth platter (or should I say splatter), I was pretty shocked by the quality of the material on display. Maybe I simply missed the boat on their earlier stuff but this is a solid enough release that I plan to go back to investigate much more carefully in the near future.

Grave – Burial Ground Review

Grave – Burial Ground Review

It seems safe to say that after surviving 22 years, Grave has become an official death metal institution as well as being one of the founding fathers of the classic “Swedish death metal sound,” along with Entombed, Unleashed and Dismember. Therefore, when the esteemed Grave Institute releases a new album, long time and newbie death heads alike should sit up and take notice. Burial Ground is album number eight for these long running purveyors of deathly tidings and being their usual consistent, quality selves, this is a solid, old school slice of vintage Swedish death metal but with a few surprises as well.

Necronomicon – The Return of the Witch Review

Necronomicon – The Return of the Witch Review

There was a time where I loved all death metal and I mean all of it! When the death metal explosion started up in the mid to late 80s, I couldn’t get enough of the stuff whether good, bad or really awful. I just loved those Cookie Monster vocals. Over time however, as more and more bands glommed onto the style, my tastes refined and I steered toward those bands that were trying something different or unique within the genre. Canada’s little known death metal three piece Necronomicon (not to be confused with German thrashers of the same name) was always a band that did things a little differently and always earned my respect. In fact, Necronomicon helped jump start the whole “Egyptian themed death metal” style alongside Nile with their debut album Pharaoh of the Gods in 1999. Happily, their efforts to create unique death metal continue on their third album The Return of the Witch.

Diabulus in Musica – Secrets Review

Diabulus in Musica – Secrets Review

Diabulus in Musica is a band that you’ve heard before dozens of times in different forms. There was a while when like every single band on Napalm Records sounded like them, but it is not a sound that is terribly popular in the year 2010. So while the band could be commended for releasing an album that sounds like Theatre of Tragedy or Epica in 2010 because they’re bucking the trend and doing their own thing, they could also be heavily criticized for sounding exactly like Theatre of Tragedy or Epica (more the latter than the former). I’m sure that the members of Diabulus in Musica are sick of being compared to Theatre of Tragedy and Epica, if they’re sick of that they should probably not read this review, because I am about to launch into a 500 word diatribe about how there has to be something new that can be done with the chick in a metal band thing, but that no one seems to be doing it.

Aeon – Path of Fire Review

Aeon – Path of Fire Review

Swedish death metal, I mean real Swedish death metal with the legacy of brutality that everyone can identify in the form of (insert your favorite Swedish death metal bands here) lives on in Aeon, a band that hails from Östersund a city in Jämtland (which is basically in the mountains and towards the Norwegian border). Astersund, while not known for its thriving metal scene, has indeed birthed one of Sweden’s current and most brutal death metal bands who were signed to Metal Blade and released an album a couple of years ago entitled Rise to Dominate which really excited fans of the tech and (more-or-less) brutal styles of death metal. I believe when I was introduced to them the words “fucking ridiculous” were definitely involved somewhere in that conversation.

Ruined Soul – My Dying Day Review

Ruined Soul – My Dying Day Review

Ruined Soul is a one-man project firmly based in the Gothenburg scene. Johnny Johansson apparently missed the scene because of his age, but having learned from the best (and right in his backyard, as it were) he has produced a record that wouldn’t have been out of place in 1999, released alongside Colony by In Flames or Projector by Dark Tranquillity. With a whole slough of big named guests from the Swedish scene and one Andy La Roque as the prodcer, it’s hard to imagine how a record like this could go wrong. Right? .. Right!?

Order of Ennead – An Examination of Being Review

Order of Ennead – An Examination of Being Review

Order of Ennead is the side project of the venerable Steve Asheim, better known as the drummer and primary writer of death metal legends Deicide. While it’s hard to a review like this, particularly on a newer project like this, without referencing the guy’s older work, the responsible reviewer in me thinks that one should probably draw a line here. Instead, I’d like to focus on the content and quality of An Examination of Being, the second record from these Floridians blackened death metallers without taking cheap shots at Glen Benton. So I’ll just take one: Order of Ennead is better because Glen Benton isn’t in it.