Hate Eternal

Goatwhore – Blood for the Master

Goatwhore – Blood for the Master

Holy shite, this is a feisty and fiery one! One of the most successful “project” bands in recent memory, Goatwhore has come roaring back, filled with piss, bile and cayenne peppers on album five, Blood for the Master. This is nasty, blackened death/thrash from the most stagnant bayou of the Big Easy and it’s the musical equivalent of a gator attack.

Horrendous – The Chills Review

Horrendous – The Chills Review

In the last few years, old school death metal has seen a resurgence in the underground. Gone are the bands trying to blast their way into oblivion by copying the NYDM sound, no more does every death metal band in the scene want to sound like Origin or Hate Eternal. Instead, Entombed and Death have become the ideal and this revitalization has been welcome to these Angry Metal Ears. I find it distinctly more giving to listen to the crunchy riffs and the cavelike production values than what a lot of modern death metal has become. But as has been noted, like any trend these things start to get too saturated and the listener tends to cool a bit on the new material that’s coming out.

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

We made it through another year here in Angry Metal World. We overcame Terminal Reviewer Burnout Syndrome, careers and personal lives, just to bring you more of our self-righteous, ego-driven babbling and blathering. Why did we do it? Because we care so damn much! Now, as the year grinds us all towards inevitable doom, it falls to me to get the metal wheel a rollin and name my picks for the best albums of 2011. This was a pretty solid year, so it was tough to figure out which albums belonged where, but you demanded it, so I’m delivering the goods, Yeah!

Entrails – The Tomb Awaits Review

Entrails – The Tomb Awaits Review

This has been the year of death metal. Evidence is very much apparent if you look at the bulk of releases so far. Try to forget Morbid Angel and Decapitated for a moment. Quality albums from the likes of Hate Eternal, Vomitory, Supreme Pain, and Vader, even Autopsy – have made the genre stronger than ever in 2011. Sophomore album The Tomb Awaits is an attempt from these Swedish veterans of gritty old-school death metal to join those hallowed ranks.

Vader – Welcome to the Morbid Reich Review

Vader – Welcome to the Morbid Reich Review

When one thinks of Polish death metal, the names Vader and Behemoth immediately spring to mind as the standard bearers. Both gained enormous exposure and both have been pretty consistent in output over the years. While I admit that not every Vader release has blown me away, more often than not they delivered heavy, satisfying death to the unhinged masses. 2009’s Necropolis was a one of their better albums and found them sounding hungry and hostile. Now, along comes Welcome to the Morbid Reich to steamroll it in short order. Featuring an overhauled, revamped lineup including a new guitarist and bassist, Vader seems to have a large chip on their collective shoulder and aim to prove they’re the one true lord of Pol-death. This is a WAY faster, heavier album than Necropolis, with way more blasting and pummeling. Its almost uniformly played at blistering speeds and aggressive to the point of exhaustion. In fact, its pretty much a companion piece to the new Hate Eternal album with a lot of similarities in style. There’s also some stylistic nods to countrymen Behemoth and even some throwbacks to old Deicide and Malevolent Creation. Its real nasty business from start to finish and its gives out way more of a ferocious beating than I expected.

Angrily Unreviewed: Deceased – Surreal Overdose

Angrily Unreviewed: Deceased – Surreal Overdose

Here’s one that not only got past me but completely flew under my radar, leaving me unaware of its release for over a month (stealth release under the cover of darkness brought to you by PATAC Records) . If I wasn’t already a fan of Deceased I would shrug it off, but since I am, I feel shame, rage, regret and finally, acceptance (of the rage and regret). Deceased have been around a long time and their fusion of death, thrash and classic metal was a big part of my 90’s listening rotation (if you never heard their classic Fearless Undead Machines release, you missed out bigtime). Their last full length was way back in 2005 and I although I clearly missed the secret memo they had a new one ready to go, Surreal Overdose is worth the long wait and its a real winner. Bringing back their berserk, ravenous thrash style, things get crazy quicker than you can say “Gwar mates with Lady Gaga in her giant egg chamber” (which I would pay to see BTW). Songs like “Skin Crawling Process” are raging thrash anthems with a touch of old school death and traditional heavy metal woven in. There are Slayeresque riffs, whammy bar molestation and King Fowley’s unmistakable raspy shouts. “Kindred Assembly” has blast beats and nonstop, throat gnawing aggression that’s bound to get the blood all angered up. “Cloned (Day of the Robot)” has trilling, melodic leads and memorable riffing throughout, sometimes sounding like Iron Maiden, sometimes like Slayer. Every track here blazes away with an insane, manic intensity that will remind older metal fans of how the early thrash albums sounded and felt.

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.

Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions Review

Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions Review

Looks like the Amott brothers are back in town. That town being Gothenburg (as in the “Gothenburg style”) and their band is the long running Arch Enemy, purveyors of slick, polished, (and some would say soulless) melodic death. Khaos Legion is their eighth full length and the first since 2007’s Rise of the Tyrant (not counting their 2009 re-recording of material). I was a supporter during their early years but with the Wages of Sin album, things took a turn and never felt the same. Although I gave subsequent releases a spin or two, by and large I wasn’t interested in their overly clinical, sterile and generic brand of death metal for the unwashed masses. With this track record of vaguely condescending ambivalence, I approached Khaos Legions with low expectations and much to my surprise, this isn’t all that bad. It’s certainly going to raise some eyebrows though because its much more melodic, mellow and restrained. While there are a few “heavy” songs, this is almost like a power metal album at times (albeit with death vocals). While there’s nowhere near enough death here to satisfy most fans of that genre, the more family friendly approach results in some enjoyable, lightweight quasi-power metal that will amuse some (while royally pissing off many).

Hate Eternal – Phoenix Amongst the Ashes Review

Hate Eternal – Phoenix Amongst the Ashes Review

Holy sheeeit man! I know the world sucks, times are hard and most people are dicks but whatever is pissing Erik Rutan off must be way worse than anything I’ve ever put up with. The clearly enraged Mr. Rutan and crew are back with another Hate Eternal platter of overly brutal death metal and this one’s a real doozy folks. While Hate Eternal always used and abused the basic Florida death metal sound pioneered by the mighty Morbid Angel (Erik contributed on some of their prime albums) and Deicide, Phoenix Amongst the Ashes is in a whole different league of sonic blight. This is some profoundly heavy, blasting, pummeling death played at light speed with very bad intentions. Offering little in the way of melody, catchiness or human compassion, you get nine songs akin to an aural carpet bombing. To say this is merely brutal is to do it a great disservice. This is enormously brutal and bordering on unlistenable. Even some die-hard death fans may throw up their hands at this album and say enough! It’s that crazy.