Slam

Distant – Aeons of Oblivion Review

Distant – Aeons of Oblivion Review

“Netherlands outfit Distant emerged on the scene with 2019’s Tyrannotophia debut, showcasing their self-proclaimed downtempo deathcore brand, with atmospheric stylings. While potential was evident, overall the album fell short of the mark, marred by monotonous writing and lack of interesting and dynamic arrangements. I missed their stopgap EP from 2020, but with two years having slipped by I plunge in with trepidation and hope to see if Distant have revamped their brand enough to sustain a deeper level of engagement.” Maintaining minimum safe distance.

Mental Cruelty – A Hill to Die Upon Review

Mental Cruelty – A Hill to Die Upon Review

“Everyone loves a good comeback story. For German brutal deathcore quintet Mental Cruelty, their comeback story begins in 2018, wherein they rolled up on your beach brandishing a weapon of divine destruction named Pergatorium. Then, Inferis dropped less than a year later. To my dismay, that record abandoned much of what made Pergatorium fun and compelling, instead resorting to cheap genre tricks, lifeless breakdowns and unsatisfying symphonics. Looking back, I probably overrated Inferis by a half-point, such was my disappointment with the album after such a strong debut. Enter third installment A Hill to Die Upon.” Obsessed by (Mental) Cruelty.

Osiah – Loss Review

Osiah – Loss Review

“Another day, another album called Loss. While some crews take up this tragic mantle with sobriety and melody, Osiah‘s content pummeling you with big “djunz” time and I guess the “loss” is, like, a loss of goddamn peace and quiet. This is a band I inherited from the Spongey One who simply didn’t have the time to devote to deathcore. Shocker, I know.” Identity loss.

Korpse – Insufferable Violence Review

Korpse – Insufferable Violence Review

“For those who don’t know anything about brutal Dutch bruisers Korpse, the cover of their third full-length Insufferable Violence provides an interesting commentary. See, nobody except weirdos and fun-hating scolds take brutal death metal seriously, at least thematically. If you didn’t get into horror in high school, you probably won’t get it – and that’s fine. For those of us who did, we’ll pass by album covers with all manner of atrocity on them, thinking nothing of it. It’s not so much about being desensitized to real violence and death, but just the fake stuff.” Korpse grinding.

Colossus – Degenesis Review

Colossus – Degenesis Review

“The year is in full swing and the flood of metal releases continues to overflow in the AMG promo portal. Of course there’s always an element of risk in blindly plucking albums from the portal. Unless I am feeling in a particularly risky or adventurous mood, I scout for releases that fall into my genre wheelhouse, and death metal tends to attract me like moth to flame. Especially after such a splendid year for the genre in 2020, the hope is for at least a handful of review assignments will throw up something special in 2021. The trio of musicians comprising freshly minted death metal outfit Colossus are equipped with background experience in the metal underground, via acts such as Lividity, Cryptic Fog, and Cereviscera. Despite being a new entity, basically the members are seasoned in the game, unleashing a debut album of brutal, technically proficient death.” The Colossus of Woes.

Thætas – Shrines to Absurdity [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Thætas – Shrines to Absurdity [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Like an evil twin of Afterbirth‘s Four Dimensional FleshThætas‘ debut full-length Shrines to Absurdity feels like a different animal than the usual brand of brutal tech. Instead of Afterbirth‘s counterintuitive use of airy atmospherics and deceptively uplifting songwriting, Thætas invoke crushing despair and unnerving dissonance.” Shriny, unhappy people.

Ingested – Where Only Gods May Tread Review

Ingested – Where Only Gods May Tread Review

“You won’t be blown away by their virtuoso performances or brainy lyrics, but your speakers will suffer some such fate if they play an Ingested record at full blast. In fact, most of the love or hate for Ingested comes down to their production; extremely loud drum samples, very polished presentation, and a ton of vocal layering.” Indigestion.

Afterbirth – Four Dimensional Flesh Review

Afterbirth – Four Dimensional Flesh Review

“Welcome to my ass. We won’t be long. I’ve gathered us here today before my review of the brilliant new Afterbirth record because I didn’t want to drag you through here in the middle of it. Suffice it to say that my critique of Afterbirth‘s The Time Traveler’s Dilemma has proven unassailably correct: Afterbirth should get right back on the horse, they should keep exploring their progressive tendencies, and they absolutely should record with Colin Marston. Probably no thanks to my scolding they have. Four Dimensional Flesh is a triumph, one of the most charismatic and original death metal albums you’ll ever hear.” Ass above, so below.