Hail of Bullets

The 11th Hour Studio Diary – #3

The 11th Hour Studio Diary – #3

So here’s a special fucking treat if ever there was one. Ed motherfucking Warby (as he’s known to friends) is writing for this blog to give updates on his HIGHLY anticipated (by this Angry Metal Guy) follow up to Burden of Grief which is one of my favorite doom records ever. He’ll be periodically checking in with the written word as watching him in his studio would be about as exciting as watching Ihsahn was in his (i.e., not fucking entertaining at all; watching flies fuck; paint dry; corpses decay without time-lapse). Enjoy! – AMG

The 11th Hour Studio Diary – #2

The 11th Hour Studio Diary – #2

So here’s a special fucking treat if ever there was one. Ed motherfucking Warby (as he’s known to friends) is writing for this blog to give updates on his HIGHLY anticipated (by this Angry Metal Guy) follow up to Burden of Grief which is one of my favorite doom records ever. He’ll be periodically checking in with the written word as watching him in his studio would be about as exciting as watching Ihsahn was in his (i.e., not fucking entertaining at all; watching flies fuck; paint dry; corpses decay without time-lapse). Enjoy! – AMG

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.

Blood Mortized – Bestial Review

Blood Mortized – Bestial Review

Steel Druhm once loved the retro thrash wave and rode it for all it was worth (as he talked of himself in the third person). However, like all waves, trends and scenes, too much becomes too much. As my passion for that movement fades, I find myself quite eagerly embracing the retro Swedish death metal wave that seems to be gaining momentum. Interment and Entrails already have quality retro death metal albums out and now Blood Mortized is set to contribute more excellently time challenged carnage. Composed of vets of the Swedish extreme metal scene and including former members of Amon Amarth and Crypt of Kerberos, Blood Mortized’s four track EP Beastial is a scabby, crusty slab of rotten and fetid death just like Entombed, Dismember and Grave used to make circa 1990-1992. Clearly inspired by the “Sunlight Studio” days of yore, these songs will take you back in time before the days of “melodic death metal” and “death with clean singing.” Yes, this is raw, filthy old school death and it sounds gory and glorious!

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?).

Demiurg – Slakthus Gamleby Review

Demiurg – Slakthus Gamleby Review

When I was doing my interview with Ed Warby last November, I reached the end of the review and he mentioned that I hadn’t asked about Demiurg. Embarrassed, I admitted that I hadn’t heard Demiurg and was quickly informed as to its nature. To paraphrase Warby (who plays drums in this band, in case you didn’t know that) this is the “Rolls Royce” among vocalist Rogga Johansson’s bands and a real juggernaut of Swedish death metal. He hooked me up with a copy of The Hate Chamber, the band’s second record, and I was duly impressed. The band, made up of Rogga (Bone Gnawer, Paganizer, Ribspreader, The Grotesquery), Dan Swano (maybe you’ve heard of him), Johan Berglund (This Haven, The Grotesquery) and Ed Warby (The 11th Hour, Gorefest, Hail of Bullets, and more), has come back in 2010 with a new take on their already well-developed and unique sound.

The 11th Hour – Burden of Grief Review

The 11th Hour – Burden of Grief Review

When I started this review zine I had a friend who told me that I shouldn’t write in the first person on here. That as a reviewer I was to try to write objectively, like my opinion is fact and not simply a jaded metal guy on the Internet spewing his opinions about records. I think this is impossible for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that we all like certain things and dislike other things. I’ve been decried by readers for liking certain records that are apparently aren’t metal enough for them. Whereas others think I’m too hard on their favorite band. But this record proves my point that one needs to write from a place of opinion. See, I have never been the world’s biggest doom metal fan. To be totally frank, I associate a lot of doom with “funeral doom” or “drone doom,” which is a genre that I find to be incredibly boring. And honestly, I like bands that bring it with intensity and speed. I like staccato riffing and tight technicality and progressive approaches. I’ll make no bones about it, I normally associate slow and boring in my brain. That’s right, I probably have hated on your favorite doom metal band of all time at one point or another. So consider that when you’re reading this review and take it for what it is.