Unique Leader Records

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.

Humanity’s Last Breath – Välde Review

Humanity’s Last Breath – Välde Review

“Just about a year and a half ago, I shocked the world by covering Humanity’s Last Breath‘s sophomore record, Abyssal. Djenty deathcore is not normally in my wheelhouse, but every once in a while, I get a craving for something über heavy. I really liked a lot of what I heard on Abyssal. Humanity’s Last Breath paint horrific scenes using an crushingly bleak sonic palette, and when things clicked on Abyssal, it shook the very ground. But as much as I loved most of what the band did on that record, it felt like it could have used some trimming to sharpen the impact. When I heard that followup Välde was scheduled for a February release, it immediately landed a spot on my most-anticipated albums of 2021 list.” Next to last breath.

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.

Stillbirth – Revive the Throne Review

Stillbirth – Revive the Throne Review

“Boasting one of the fattest rosters of death metal and its derivative sub-genres, Unique Leader Records stands out as one of the most single-minded purveyors of metal in existence. Following such numbers, I frequently find gaps in my knowledge within such a roster. Enter Germany’s Stillbirth and their sixth full-length entitled Revive the Throne. Despite this number of releases spanning back to 2003, they’re not a band who have previously featured in the thousands of bands reviewed at this website.” Throne saw is ready!

Katalepsy – Terra Mortus Est Review

Katalepsy – Terra Mortus Est Review

“Ah, death metal, my old nemesis. This style and I have never quite seen eye to eye on things, which I think comes down to me not having an especially high tolerance for prolonged brutality. I like rhyme and reason, order, and all things calm and sane. So given that, you might wonder why I would read the words “Russian brutal death metal masters Katalepsy return with their devastating new record Terra Mortus Est” and think “sounds good to me!” Honestly, I would too.” Insanity and Terra.

Ahtme – Mephitic Review

Ahtme – Mephitic Review

“It’s hard to believe considering my current taste, but back in the mid 00s I consumed all the tech death I could. I devoured Arsis, Deeds of Flesh, Origin, and all the other bands who were just coming into their own in the midst of MySpace and metalcore. My tastes have changed since then, but it doesn’t take much to make me give a genre another try. And by “doesn’t take much,” I mean a Monday night death metal show two years ago that just happened to be taking place at my favorite bar in town.” Easy Z.

Viscera – Obsidian Review

Viscera – Obsidian Review

“In Hollywood, there’s a phenomenon called ‘twin films.’ Sometimes movies released around the same time have an uncannily similar plot, even though they’ve been in production around the same time and couldn’t have copied one another. A few well-known examples include Armageddon and Deep Impact, Antz and A Bug’s Life, and The Prestige and The Illusionist. Now, considering the frequency of release and inherent similarities, this isn’t really a thing in metal, but it still gave me pause when I noticed I was about to go through the second Unique Leader techy deathcore release with wav format tracks in just a handful of weeks.” Guts check.