Hopping aboard the death metal train we stop in Denton,Maryland with Maryland’s finest Oceans of Flesh. These death metal merchants have just released this here titled Eternal Desecration. There are three total songs on this release two being studio songs and one being live, but all three being good. Oceans of Flesh is a cross between a few things. They are a hybrid of death metal, thrash and perhaps some black metal. With all of those combine it makes up the sonic assault that is Oceans of Flesh.
Through the three songs you truly get the feeling of complete and utter disdain for human life, or just pure disdain for everything in general. The fiery metallic assault of Oceans of Flesh begins with the discordant guitars followed by the heavy hitting drums and all of that is backed by the spite filled vocals of the vocalist.
Eternal Desecration isn’t an album that sugar coats anything. Just through the three songs you can feel the darkness and the anger that they exude.
Oceans of Flesh bends some thrash into their style of music making for an interesting balance between hyper tremolo picking and the slower chugging death metal riffs. Each play a part in making the songs more diverse which enables the listener to have something else to think about while listening to the music.
While there aren’t a lot of tracks here to cover, the ones that are here are a good listen. The riffs are sharp and heavy, the drums are intense and pounding and the vocals sound like someone got the vocalist pissed off right before a recording session and he’s taking all of his anger out on the mic. In fact the entire band sounds like they’re taking something out on their instruments, which is never a bad thing. The lyrics for the most part are audible and easy to follow and if you want to yell along to the songs like a maniac then you can do so.
The music is furious and can be fast, but at times Oceans of Flesh can slow it down and having a more devastating crunching sound. Overall the three tracks that are provided here are good and easy to get into and thrash about to. I hope there never is an ocean of flesh for that would be terrifying, but for now we have Oceans of Flesh to jam out to.
Let Them Hang was formed in 2013 in Gothenburg and this is their newest effort titled “Human Macabre Icon”. This release is three tracks long of distorted guitars, writhing vocals and headbanging death metal. These guys draw a lot of inspiration from a lot of different areas within metal. They take some hardcore and punk and infuse it with their brand of old school death metal.
Let Them Hang display more than anything their death metal chops. The guitars are ultra down tuned and have a crunchiness to them that is layered with some filthy fuzz. While there are only three songs here for your sickening death metal pleasures, the feeling you get from Let Them Hang isn’t to be just as brutal as possible, but to make music that is just fun to headbang to.
And music that is just good to headbang to is just what someone needs. Sometimes you don’t want the ultra technical, strange time signature music that makes you contort and twist your neck in all different directions. Sometimes the straight up old school death metal sound is needed to twist and contort your neck in a completely different way.
“Human Macabre Icon” is a sonic wall of death metal. Your first encounter with the wall is the ultra fuzzy guitar riffs and once you get through the gauntlet of crunching guitars you face the wrath of the drums which pummel their way through your ears. On top of all of the death metal goodness, a layer of grimy vocals oozes from your speakers.
The vocalist spews the vocals all over the songs like bile. They are normally zombie-esque vocals but can transform into higher pitched screeches when the song calls for it. And at certain points throughout the three track disc, the songs slow down into a heavier more devastating riff pummeling drum combo. No worries it’s not a break down so relax.
Through the three songs on “Human Macabre Icon” the music is just fun to listen to and it is some good death metal as well. It’s entertaining, headbang worthy and overall just a good listen for all of you sordid death metal fiends.
This brand new split to come out is between Ohio’s Unrest and Edmonton’s Idolatry. The split contains two songs with Side A featuring Unrest and their song “of Filth” and Side B features Idolatry and their song “Clefs au Chambre de Tristêsse “. The two bands play pure black metal. It’s depraved, dark and completely hateful. Each of these bands compliment one another making “Infection Born of Ending” feel natural.
Each band plays in similar styles but each have different approaches to this style. Each style is straight from hell and completely blackened. But what Idolatry does is add a touch of melody to their song and add some haunting vocals at the end breaking up the pure blackened onslaught; whereas Unrest doesn’t add too much melodic moments. Instead Unrest is a straight forward metallic assault.
Now just focusing on one side and then the other, we’ll focus on Ohio’s Unrest to begin with. I think that it is important to add the fact that Unrest is a one man band. So everything that you hear is him. “of Filth” begins with some dissonant drum beats that morphs pretty quickly into the savagery that is Unrest. The song is nonstop furious riffs and a savage display of drum battery. The riffs are lined with a thick layer of fuzz which is just what you’d want to hear from an old school style of black metal. The music is pretty much “hate first everything else later” as you get the feeling that this is what the song is portraying. On top of the musical onslaught, the vocals are plenty gravely and are more of grunts than anything else. They’re not the shrieks you’d come to expect now from so many black metal bands. Instead they are filthy mid range vocals that get barked at you from beginning to end.
As I mentioned above, the two bands seem to compliment each other well but do things just a little bit differently. That being said, that brings me to the other side of the split, the Idolatry side with their song titled “Clefs au Chambre de Tristêsse “. According to the band the song title is a conjuration in French that tells a tale of someone who has prepared a room for themselves in which to end their lives. Already pretty gruesome right? Right. Well with a song title such as that you can only hope that the band would be able to back it up and that is exactly what Idolatry do. The beginning of the song starts with a nice slower more melodic type of riff and paired with it are some vocals that sound like a serpent recorded them. The more melodic moment doesn’t last very long as Idolatry switch gears and delve deeper into the realm of chaos and complete and utter darkness. The drums pummel and the riffs weave and slice their way through the entirety of the song. As far as the more melodic moments I mentioned above go, there are more of them within the song. And by that I simply mean it isn’t just a hellish assault of riffs after hellish assault of riffs and tumultuous drumming. They do slow the song down a few times and mix up the riffs giving a little more variety. Throughout the song the most noticeable thing are the vocals. They are very serpent like but transition into a wailing scream of torment as well as a more gravely shriek.
The two songs on this split from these bands are put together nicely. Each of the songs respectively are well executed and have that utterly depraved and hateful feeling about them. While each style of play may be a little different between the two bands, you can gather one thing from this split and that is that these bands set out to create something purely evil and I believe that was achieved. For fans of the occult, and pure blackened metal, this is something that belongs in your collection.
Since metal-more than probably any other genre of music-unites people from all over the world today we will be looking at bands from several different places around the world. Within this list you will find all different styles of heavy metal hopefully allowing you to find some new music to listen to. Enjoy the Album Round Up!
Our first stop is in California with a band that calls themselves Goatbreather. This effort is self titled and displays six incredibly short tracks. Goatbreather play some grind and it sounds like if they really wanted to they could play slam as well.The tracks are short in typical grind fashion with the longest being almost two minutes. Within the songs you don’t necessarily get a lot out of it, but I really don’t think that you’re suppose to. What you do get however is a lot of buzzing guitars, spastic drumming and vocals that sounds like a toad got loose in the recording studio and just let it rip. At certain points the vocals almost take over as the focal point in the album. They’re a deep croaking that occasionally get accompanied by a war cry like yelling. Overall Goatbreather is interesting and if you’re looking for interesting and just something new to listen to really quick then Goatbreather is probably the right fit.
Heading over to Donegal,Ireland is Graveyard Dirt. This is their brand new just released on the seventeenth of this month E.P. titled My Scourge, My Plague. Just by looking at the album cover you would have to guess that they play either black metal or doom. Well they play the latter and do it very well. The three songs that appear on this E.P. are melancholic and have a certain haunting quality about them. The riffs alone are haunting. They stick with you after you’ve listened. The vocals are a throaty yell that get paired up with almost a spoken word type of approach which gives the impression that instead of just being a song they are actually stories being woven. Even though the songs for the most part are of the more melancholy variety, Graveyard Dirt isn’t without heaviness as well. The riffs loom large and at times turn into crunchier faster riffs as the drums follow suit picking up the pace, only to slow it back down again diving into the sea of emotion that is portrayed on this fine E.P. My Scourge, My Plague is a great E.P. with everything you would with there to be on a doom record.
Hailing from Lorient,France is a band by the name of Death Engine and Mud is their debut full length that was put out through Throatruiner Records. Death Engine plays a noisy hardcore-ish style that is one hundred percent suppose to rip your fucking face off. The abrasive style in which they do play is sharp and cuts like a knife. The music essentially sounds like the inner workings of a mad man’s mind which is just perfect. Each song is a writhing twisting mass of fiery metal that rains down on you like a hail of bullets. Most of the assault is hard to prepare for. The music is dark and stunningly violent catching you off balance for the entirety of Mud. Death Engine is completely relentless in their assault mixing violent riffs, with dirges of industrial noise as well as just straight up raw metallic noise. Death Engine and their album Mud is a great album. You might want to brace yourself for impact for this one however.
This last piece was released November of last year but it was intriguing to me and felt like it needed to be written about. DVNE is a band that hails from the UK and plays an interesting brand of sludge. It is interesting and intriguing because it is not just sludge at all but mixed with it you can hear some doom and hardcore elements. Aurora Majesty is just a two track album that seems to focus on the darker side of things. Aurora Majesty displays some sludge riff goodness throughout the album throwing memorable riff after memorable riff at you. The sludge doesn’t last forever as the music shifts and transforms into doom at certain times. At other times DVNE switches it up into a faster paced more hardcore approach. The vocals are smokey and powerful giving the listener more food for thought. With a menagerie of different influences at play within just two tracks, DVNE never confuse who they really. The music ebbs and flows perfectly while mixing all of these different genres together. In just two songs there is a lot to take in here but it is all smooth making for an enjoyable listen.
Over the last ten years or even more black metal has been evolving and shifting in different directions to create new sounds and new interesting music. Bending black metal in certain ways can hurt or it can help. You can always recreate the old sounding black metal but then you run the risk of sounding exactly the same as a million other black metal bands. To do something new within a pretty bleak and black and white genre-up until recently-is a bold move. A lot of people still want to hear that cold bleakness that old school black metal gives you, but at the same time where will that transform and progress into something newer and more innovative? I for one welcome the fresh breath of air that is the new age of black metal. You end up getting more diversity and more to listen to because there are other elements thrown in with black metal. For the Denton,Texas band Sathariel they are a new black metal band that incorporate much more into their music than just cold darkness and Satanic imagery. With their album Mercy Divine they take a step into the progressive realm creating a sound all of their own.
As I mentioned above black metal as a whole can get pretty stagnant and not too much has changed until only recently. Sathariel certainly know how to mix in different elements with the core of the music which is black metal. There are certain symphonic qualities to Sathariel as well as certain death metal elements which are matched with the traditional vocal stylings of heavy metal which would be soaring high clean vocals.
A mixture of all of these can convolute the music if it is not properly proportioned throughout. Sathariel properly spread the wealth of each of the different genres that are mixed in making the music feel natural and not forced.
With the very core of the music being black metal, everything revolves around that. The black metal is there in the symphonic elements, the evil whispering in certain songs as well as the vocals that are a higher pitched roar instead of a ear piercing shriek.
The death metal shows up a little more in the musicianship than anything else. The riffs aren’t as bleak and cold, instead they’re focused and sharp and within a lot of the songs you get some pretty fiery guitar solos as well. Accompanying the guitars are the drums which blast and pummel their way into your blackened brain. Each element does cross over from death metal and black metal, but one element that each genre does have in common that is a running theme here in Mercy Divine is the thick bass. Every song has it and it is very audible and provides more than just finger shredding solos and blasts.
Sathariel provide a dual threat on vocals throughout. There are the gravely screams but paired with those are the high pitched cleans. The cleans are theatrical and powerful; they are the type of vocals that were incredibly popular in the 70’s and 80’s with bands like Iron Maiden coming out and Judas Priest. Now I’m not saying they’re as good as those heavy metal gods, I’m simply saying that the cleans are strong and sound great next to the roars. Other than just the musicianship the vocals-especially the cleans-give Sathariel more to work with and give the listener more to think about.
Through the shredding solos, pounding guitars, and the soaring cleans Mercy Divine is a great album. It provides diversity within black metal by mixing in a few newer elements and it just overall is a great listen.
Festering started in 1992 but had to be put off until 2011 with a new sound (or old?). With songs that sound like they came from the grave is Festering with their album From the Grave. This album was just put out recently through Caverna Abismal Records. From the Grave shows off ten grimy songs played in the old school death metal fashion. As I have said before and as I’m sure many people have been catching on the old school sound has been coming back and coming back in full force. Arising from the grave is something that old school death metal has done very successfully over the last couple of years. For every old death metal band that has called it quits there is a new band that plays old school style death metal to step up and take their place. In this case, Festering arose from the ashes of death metal to create and revamp their sound to put out this record here titled From the Grave. Festering certainly play that straight forward style of old school death metal paying homage to the old while keeping the sound fresh and helping revitalize the old school death metal sound.
Festering display the proper use of the buzz saw guitar riffs that are very well known throughout the metal community. To hear music that is old school nothing at all needs to be clean. The sound needs to sound like it was strained through the pulpy flesh of your victims, it needs to sound dirty and as filthy as possible as if it were just resurrected for the soul purpose of creating death metal.
While Festering hit on all of the old school cylinders and apply what they learned from the zombies in the grave they manage to create their own sound. The infectious fuzz filled riffs are there coupled with the blistering drums and the thick bass lines. But what Festering stay away from is recycling music, or recycling riffs or lyrics. They keep all of the old school death metal charm with a name like Festering and song titles like, Infected, Exhumed, and Consuming From Within.
With all of that the death first apologies later approach is there. From the lyrics to the style of play they channel their predecessors to create the symphony of death that they call From the Grave. Having said that, Festering have a certain melodic side about them that keeps them fresh and keeps you off of your toes. Instead of thrashing about like a lunatic on instruments-which they still do expertly-they know when to slow things down and add certain melodious parts to their music when needed.
For the majority of the album it is hack and slash play, but when it is mixed with more melodious moments it gives the band more diversity. And while the pace is generally set at blistering the songs are crafted well so that they are not entirely pummeling all of the time but instead they are written so that the blistering pace is met with groove and flow.
With all of these new bands reviving the old school style of death metal it is refreshing to see that the genre is alive and well. The fiery metallic assault that Festering display is great for a neck twisting time of headbanging and debauchery. Rising from the grave Festering return from their slumber in full force with a strong record in From the Grave.
If you have an interesting name you are bound to catch someone’s attention, and that is exactly what these gents from Sweden did. The name of the band is Gorgosaur and this three track demo titled Gashes and Demise was released earlier this year. On their Bandcamp page they state that their music is “total death worship” and from listening to the demo that of course is one hundred percent accurate. There is nothing else within the three tracks that would lead anyone to believe they are anything other than death metal. The tracks have an old school kind of feeling to them reeking of death.
Since it is of course not a full length effort there is only so much that one can go off of. But with the tracks provided it is pretty apparent that they style they were going for was of the utmost raw sounding death metal they could create without sounding like a copy cat band. It helps that the music sounds as if it were recorded in a cemetery.
From the opener which is also the title track to the ending track titled “The Antropophagus” Gorgosaur rip and tear at your flesh with their death metal assault. While the death metal attack is of the standard old school variety Gorgosaur create a metallic onslaught all of their own.
Their goal of total death and destruction begins with the low tuned buzz filled guitar riffs that fill your ears with torment. They slash and hack their way into your brain infecting you with a memorable throw back to the death metal bands of old. The drums are spastic and tumultuous as the drummer uses the entire kit to his advantage. The songs are well crafted and don’t just sound like some guys found some instruments in a garage one day and decided to play death metal. The fuzzed out guitars are supplemented by the chaotic drums and all of that is topped off by a great vocal performance as the vocalist roars and yells his way through the tracks.
Gorgosaur certainly did read the book of the forefathers and take avid notes. As more and more bands are starting to regress into the older death metal style it may become harder to stand out among the crowd. But with Gorgosaur’s style of play as well as the little things they do here and there within the songs to give them more diversity they may be able to stand out among the crowded death metal genre. Either way, Gashes and Demise is a good demo and debut to just headbang your little necks to.