Willowtip Records

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound Review

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound Review

“Death metal is not a subtle art. Brutal death metal doubly so. Brutal, technical… well you get the point. Unfathomable Ruination exemplify this dearth of subtlety in name but belie it in their music. Their sophomore effort, Finitude, stands as one of the decade’s most punishing yet memorable death metal albums, punctuating each of its songs with a constricting riff or winding lead that seared it instantly into the mind. A great deal of the album’s success came from the band’s shrewd dispensation of show-stoppers, always releasing just enough brilliance to keep the listener wanting more. Apparently unwilling to rest on their laurels, Enraged and Unbound lives up to its predecessor’s unpredictable brutality.” Ruination as hobby.

No One Knows What the Dead Think – No One Knows What the Dead Think Review

No One Knows What the Dead Think – No One Knows What the Dead Think Review

“The New Jersey grindcore project No One Knows What the Dead Think boasts impressive lineage, with vocalist Jon Chang (ex-Discordance Axis, Gridlink) and guitarist/bassist Rob Marton (Discordance Axis) tireless veterans of the underground grind scene. Throw in accomplished drummer Kyosuke Nakano (ex-Cohol) and the trio on paper is a force to be reckoned with.” Grind for the thinking dead.

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

“Dear readers, what are your favorite ’90s progressive or technical death metal albums? Perhaps it’s Cynic‘s legendary Focus, Death‘s Human, Edge of Sanity‘s Crimson, or is it Pestilence and their classic Consuming Impulse opus? Or maybe Atheist‘s brilliant Unquestionable Presence album floats your boat. Or digging deeper, a more left-field choice: Martyr‘s underrated Hopeless Hopes. New York’s Contrarian pay omage to the classic ’90s progressive and technical death scene through their retro and impressively authentic throwback style of spazzed out prog death on their third LP, Their Worm Never Dies.” Undying worms and olde death.

Desecravity – Anathema Review

Desecravity – Anathema Review

“Japan probably isn’t top of the list of countries responsible for propagating the most volatile of technical death metal. Desecravity clearly don’t care for the geographical rank and file, however, as their hyper-proficient assault takes absolutely no prisoners. Anathema is the band’s third foray into profuse precision and exhibits a startling standard of musicianship. But, as with all overtly technical genres, there lingers an elephant in the room… What good is inimitable skill without commensurate song writing? I’ve lost count of the amount of bands I’ve heard over the years who exist, seemingly solely, as an extreme guitar clinic. No attention to structure, no time spent on foundation. Fortunately, Desecravity seem to be aware of this to some degree, but they aren’t entirely out of the woods yet…” Killed by tech.

Abysmal Torment – The Misanthrope Review

Abysmal Torment – The Misanthrope Review

“Death metal is all about bludgeoning with extreme prejudice, but it also used to coincide with great songwriting. While the former has never been in question, I can’t consistently say the same of the latter. In an effort to cohesively combine the two, modernity has mutated penmanship into an almost grotesque caricature, often mistaking style for substance. Sometimes, however, proficiency and profusion meet in the middle to summon a storm of genuine portent. The Maltese death dealers, Abysmal Torment, have embarked upon a run of sustained quality and their fourth full-length, The Misanthrope, shows no sign of slowing.” Misanthropic brutality done right.

Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology Review

Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology Review

“If it wasn’t obvious already, dynamic UK duo Slugdge is the real-fucking deal. Across their first three LP’s Slugdge shook off any suggestion they were a flash in the pan gimmick band, moving in advanced directions beyond their strange and humorous slug-obsessed philosophy and creative song title puns, to forge a wonderfully versatile and fiercely unique extreme metal hybrid. From modest cult heroes, Slugdge are now on the cusp of entering the big leagues.” Look at that escargot!

Pyrrhon – What Passes for Survival Review

Pyrrhon – What Passes for Survival Review

“Three years: a trial for many, an eternity for some, an unnoticeable instant of geology. But enough time for Pyrrhon‘s The Mother of Virtues to become a landmark work in extreme music, the most forward-thinking and brazen death metal album of the decade thus far. When I reviewed it, I mused that “A more difficult album [was] hard to come by.” What Passes for Survival is that and more.” Worth the weight.

Vale of Pnath – II [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

Vale of Pnath – II [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

“I never thought of myself as a tech death fan. Coming from a thrash background, I never needed insane drum machine combos or faster-than-light scales to get my dander up. But after penning one tech death TYMHM this winter, I was struck by the notable divide between Dormant Ordeal and current beau Vale of Pnath.” Kronos laughs at your newbiehood.

Mithras – On Strange Loops Review

Mithras – On Strange Loops Review

Mithras is finally back with fourth full-length On Strange Loops – an album reportedly six years in the making and probably the last with longtime vocalist/bassist Rayner Coss, who left the group earlier this year. Strap in, sit tight, and set phasers to ‘fuck yeah’ as we explore what’s likely to be the best death metal record of 2016.” Let’s get loopy!