Death

Morbus Chron – Sleepers in the Rift Review

Morbus Chron – Sleepers in the Rift Review

As I listen to this unheralded piece of nasty, morbid, old school death, one word comes to mind: Spewage. That’s the best way to describe what you’ll be getting here. Morbus Chron is a Swedish band playing filthy death metal like Autopsy, Death and Massacre. This breaks the current trend of following in the footsteps of legendary countrymen Entombed, Dismember. It’s still plenty retro but not the typical Swedish retro. Basically, their raucous debut Sleepers in the Rift sounds like something spewing from the underground in the late 80’s and it’s wonderfully repellant, low-fi, non-techy and makes you feel like you need to be disinfected and vaccinated. It’s underproduced, muddy, discordant and vile all the way but somehow manages to be catchy. What more could one ask for? Nothing.

Leprous – Bilateral Review

Leprous – Bilateral Review

Progressive music is a vast category filled with all sorts of various constellations of bands from Dream Theater to Symphony X to Rush to Opeth to Death to Pink Floyd to Pain of Salvation to Coheed & Cambria (arguably) and so forth. It can be very difficult to keep all that shit in order and, frankly, to find good progressive bands because it’s such a huge category. Despite the fact that progressive music should be the biggest, best and most original music in the world it suffers from some serious problems. The first is a tendency towards living in the past (för svenskar: bakÃ¥tsträvande) and the second is unoriginality, oddly enough. So finding a progressive band that is excellent, modern and original is still a hard thing to do. But you’ll never guess who has some angry (but good) news.

Denial Fiend – Horror Holocaust Review

Denial Fiend – Horror Holocaust Review

Like a swift kick to the frank N’ beans, the new release by this death metal “super group” is shocking and very painful. I really loved Denial Fiend’s quirky 2007 debut They Rise. It merged nasty, old school American death metal and punk rock with a party atmosphere and although very tongue in cheek, it rocked and raged convincingly. To this day it remains in regular rotation at stately Steel Druhm manor. That debut featured some grizzled veterans of the old school scene like bassist Terry Butler (Death, Massacre, Six Feet Under, Obituary) and mega Cookie Monster Kam Lee (Death, Massacre) on vocals. What made They Rise work was the strong similarity to the classic Massacre sound (their From Beyond album is one of the all time best American death metal albums). The songs were savage and raw but also catchy and fun. Basically, it was a damn fine treat for death metal fans. When I heard a new Denial Fiend album was pending, I got giddy like a school girl. When I heard Kam Lee had taken his immense vocal talent elsewhere, I was sad but still hopeful. Well, hope is officially dead. Horror Holocaust features the “vocals” of Blaine Cook (The Accused) and he destroys everything as surely as cops destroy fun and work destroys free time. While there are some decent musical moments, he renders the bulk of the album unlistenable and there’s no denying that it sucks, bigtime.

Angrily Unreviewed: Decaying – Devastate

Angrily Unreviewed: Decaying – Devastate

Here’s a seriously under the radar piece of nasty, blackened death that seems to have been widely overlooked since its May release (including by us sadly). Devastate is the debut by Finland’s Decaying and it’s a real work of grim badassery. Available through Hellthrasher Productions, it features a scant six songs of brutal death but its not a short album since four of the tracks are over ten minutes long. That’s right, you get some lengthy, epic death metal tuneage with one song over fourteen minutes in length! That’s longer than “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and brutal and ugly all the way through. Honestly, not many bands can write death metal that remains interesting over so long a period of time. The reason why this album is getting space here is because Decaying can and did just that. Despite the length of the tracks, the writing and energy keeps things engaging until the bitter end.

Necrovorous – Funeral for the Sane Review

Necrovorous – Funeral for the Sane Review

Loyal readers of these Angry Metal Pages are doubtlessly aware of my affinity for old school Swedish death metal (SDM) akin to the likes of old Entombed, Grave and Dismember (disloyal readers are to be shunned and publicly shamed). Those same readers will also be aware of my love for the retro movement in the genre spearheaded by the likes of Bloodbath, Entrails and Interment. Because the old school SDM style has such a grim, crusty and powerful vibe, it doesn’t bother me in the least when retro bands utilize the sound without much innovation, as long as its done well. Kindly add Necrovorous to the growing list of bands doing it really fucking well with their debut Funeral for the Sane. Hailing from Greece, these gents take the classic early ’90s sound of SDM and scrape in influences from primitive American acts as well as some grindcore. The results are ugly, scabby and about as nasty as shit on scrambled eggs.

Pestilence – Doctrine Review

Pestilence – Doctrine Review

They say you can’t go home again. If the recent track record of Dutch deathsters Pestilence proves anything, it’s that you may get home again, but you can’t stay there long. Pestilence had a few significant contributions to the death genre in the late 80’s and early 90’s, most notably the excellent Consuming Impulse from ’89 (a nasty, vicious slab of ugliness and a top ten all time death album IMHO) and the very solid Testimony of the Ancient release in ’91. Then they radically shifted styles by incorporating copious progressive jazz fusion elements into the Spheres opus and alienated many fans in the process. That essentially closed the book on Pestilence until their 2009 reunion album Resurrection Macabre, which did indeed go home to their early death metal roots and kicked a fair amount of arse too. Now, we get their second post-reformation platter and much to my chagrin, back comes the progressive jazz-fusion elements to muddy the waters (though not to the extent they did on Spheres). This leaves Doctrine a squirming, writhing mutant offspring, half Consuming Impulse, half Spheres and it feels like an album tearing itself apart with inconsistent, incompatible ideas. Needless to say, I’m not very jazzed about this.

Autopsy – Macabre Eternal Review

Autopsy – Macabre Eternal Review

A brand new Autopsy album? Well tickle me Hellmo! Now, THESE guys are the very definition of old school death metal and founder, drummer and chief gurgler Chris Reifert got his start with the legendary band Death way, way back in 86′. After playing on the Death debut, Reifert went off to launch Autopsy and they were one of the first bands to market themselves as death metal. After several classic albums loaded with crusty death mixed with grinding doom riffs, Reifert called it a day so he could pursue his other band Abscess full time. After reuniting for their The Tomb Within EP in 2010, Reifert decided to fold Abscess and resurrect the mighty Autopsy and hence, we get Macabre Eternal, their first new album in fifteen long years. So, does it live up to their legendary status in the genre? Can it ever meet the huge expectations of long time fans? Is Rhapsody of Fire entirely made of cheese? Of course! It’s an instant classic and so, so fucking sick, you just have to hear it to understand.

Long Time Manowar Drummer Scott Columbus Passes Away

Long Time Manowar Drummer Scott Columbus Passes Away

Sadly for the metal community, long time Manowar drummer Scott Columbus passed away Monday at the age of 54. Mr. Columbus joined Manowar in 1982 and was a mainstay behind his unique stainless steel “drums of doom” until 1991. After some time away, he returned to Manowar again in 1995 and played on all their studio and live albums through 2008.

Obscura – Omnivium Review

Obscura – Omnivium Review

March has really been one hell of a month, hasn’t it? To think after Amon Amarth and Vintersorg we get to follow it all up with Obscura’s Omnivium. If any record counts as the most-anticipated of the year, Obscura is probably getting pretty close to that level. Having released in 2009, what was really a hell of a surprise for most listeners (including people who’d purchased their previous record) in Cosmogenesis, these technical death metallers built on their Necrophagist cred (and sound) and on the legacy of the mighty Death with their technical, progressive death metal, complete with awesome fretless bass attack. So, while this isn’t really a record that can fall victim of the sophomore slump (being the band’s third record), it certainly is an album that could fall victim to overly heightened expectations. And, I must admit, this Angry Metal Guy certainly had heightened expectations

Grayceon – All We Destroy Review

Grayceon – All We Destroy Review

Grayceon is a three-piece progressive metal band from San Francisco that was formed in 2005 and that is releasing their third full-length All We Destroy via Profound Lore (which is being distroed by Sound Pollution in Sweden, by the way). Since their 2007 debut, the band has been hailed as something totally unique on the metal landscape, and in 2011 this is still very true. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that they are a singular voice in the area in such a way that there is very little functional comparison to a reader understand what it is that they do, and more specifically why it’s so damn successful. However, as a music reviewer that’s my job (or in this case, ridiculously time consuming habit), so I shall wade fearlessly into the fray and hope that you, angry reader, are left with a sense of why you should head over to Profound Lore’s website and purchase the record.