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Cadaver Garden

"Blasphemer, Heretic, Defiler of the Sacred Ones. Thou art Deprived of Your Limbs. Thy Nose Shall be Split. Thou art Cast Down and Overthrown."-Cast Down The Heretic by Nile

Barrows: Swine Race

August 24, 2015
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a1540791092_10 Barrows released a promo aptly titled Swine Race Promo which sported two tracks that are featured on this here full length. The name of the two tracks that appear are titled “Child of Matricide” and “Breaking Wheel”. The other seven songs are new of course as they were not put on the promo. The full length Swine Race was released on the 21st of August. Swine Race features nine songs that are pretty much the equivalent of a flamethrower being aimed at your head, then having said flamethrower spit its scorching flames all over you leaving you in a melting mass of bone and flesh.

Barrows plays a bone jarring style of deathgrind. And to be fair I think bone jarring may be putting it lightly. It seems as though Barrows set out to destroy your life with this music and lay waste to anything and everything else that my be in the same vicinity as you.

A lot of death metal bands try to incorporate some melodious moments into their music to create kind of a breathing space in the music and to create some variety in what the listener is hearing. Not that there isn’t any variety here because there is, but there are not any melodic moments. No moments where the songs break down into some ambient noises or clean singing or any of that. Swine Race begins like an atomic bomb and finishes that way as well.

When an album puts you through the ringer, the band should feel proud of what they have done. Barrows puts you through the ringer with Swine Race, and once you are done with one listen they haul you back into the ring for round two.

The assault and battery of your ears begins as soon as “Child of Matricide” begins and the pummeling doesn’t cease. As I said above, the music is jarring and is made to rattle your bones. Barrows plays at mach one with great precision. They hit all of your death metal nerves infecting your brain with heavy riffs and skull shattering blast beats. The riffs are eyebrow singeing giving you plenty to headbang to. Riffs as heavy and fast as these need to be paired with drums that are equally heavy and equally as fast, and that is what Barrows supplies. While the riffs get you in a frenzy the drums pummel and strike you on the side of the head like a baseball bat. The entirety of the musicianship is on point and the stop-start ability that Barrows possesses is something that I’m sure many death metal and grind fans will find appealing.

There is something that truly is sinister and filthy about Barrows. And the maelstrom way in which they play is enough to make anyone go insane. Playing at break neck speed is generally just a saying, but with Barrows I think it was taking literally. And as they applied that to their music, it certainly is neck breaking.

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Flesh SS: Sanguine Sodomy E.P.

August 24, 2015
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a1595457581_10 Let me start off by asking a simple question. Who doesn’t love Satan and sluts? I’m pretty positive everyone does, even the most conservative people have to love Satan and sluts just a little. And what do you get when you mix the two together? You get Flesh SS. Flesh SS are a brand new band from Los Angeles, California that play some black metal infused with punk. These guys are the guys that you listen to when you want to destroy some shit and cause as much chaos as possible.

To say that they are black metal infused with punk or the other way around is putting it kind of mildly. You get the idea that they are furious bordering on the side of insane, but to describe it a little better they are more like controlled chaos put on four tracks.

The fusion of black metal and punk creates an interesting sound to say the least. Both punk and black metal are fiery and completely all over the place as far as style goes. So the sound that you would be subjecting yourself to is a complete onslaught of just headbanging metallic madness.

Flesh SS do a great job of sticking with the, “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that made punk so popular all while infusing a genre such as black metal to create a completely raw sounding soundtrack to armageddon.

The songs are short of course, but blast you right out of your seat from the very beginning. As you sit there on the floor stunned and baffled by the sonic assault you just witnessed in the first couple of seconds of music, they keep coming and pummel you more.

Sanguine Sodomy is fueled by frenetic riffs that are accompanied by face and skin shredding guitar solos. The songs rip and tear flailing around like a trapped alligator in a gator net. While the rest of the music is flaying your flesh the vocalist adds his own filthy touch the music. When the vocals come over they sound like a tortured animal was recorded and put over the music. And while that is not true it adds another element of chaos to the music. The shrieks, yells and screams coupled with the hyper activity and pure aggression of the music being played behind him it makes for a cacophony of insanity.

The concoction that is black metal and punk works well and the different styles feed off of one another. The noisier the better, the faster the better, the more blasphemous the better. So, if you love yourself some sluts and Satan then Flesh SS is for you. If you also just like to headbang and have a good time listening to chaotic music, then Flesh SS is also right up your alley.

Show Me Wolves: Between Man, God and False Idols

August 23, 2015
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a2884857753_10 A lot of bands recently have been mixing and mashing genres together to create something entirely unique. Show Me Wolves does this as well combining progressive black metal as well as metalcore. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Oh he said metalcore, there must be an extensive amount of whiny vocals”. Well there isn’t. For the most part the album is black metal with some unique clean singing in it as well to provide more melody.

Show Me Wolves hails from Iceland and Between Man, God and False Idols is the very first album from them. Show Me Wolves is a one man band so everything on this album is played by one guy which is impressive all on its own. The album shows off eight songs total that give you a mixture of that black metal coldness as well as atmosphere and melody which a lot of black metal lacks.

With the metalcore aspects thrown into the darkened black metal abyss, it gives Show Me Wolves the ability to experiment and play with different sounds creating a sound that is unique and fresh. The songs aren’t always one hundred percent black metal, they aren’t always that rough raw sound that you will hear from every black metal band out there. Those aspects are still there, but with adding a touch of melody to the music it gives Show Me Wolves another dimension to the songs and it gives the listener something else to think about.

Don’t knock this just because it isn’t straight up black metal for you elitists out there saying it isn’t “cvlt” enough or whatever. The black metal rawness is there in every song. Nothing is over produced, the riffs are still crunchy and razor sharp, the songs do have that fast chaotic pace to them, but every now and then they break into a laid back guitar solo or break into some great cleans as well.

Once the songs slow down a bit, they never stay there forever as they pick back showing you their blackened soul once more. Show Me Wolves does a great job of combining two completely different styles of music into something that sounds unique and fresh. One style does not take away from the other, instead they both enhance one another. The metalcore makes the black metal riffs more focused and clean instead of sounding like someone is playing the washboard and keeps the drums not sounding like someone found plastic buckets to play on. Don’t misconstrued this, I do like traditional black metal as well, but every once in a while it is nice to hear someone doing something new in a well played out genre.

From the more melodious moments, to the more headbanging moments, to the cleans and to the high pitched shrieks, everything that is thrown into the black metal blender here works and makes for an interesting concoction. There is something on this album for everyone. If you don’t just want to hear straight up black metal, then there are cleans as well as sharper guitar playing and more focused music overall. If you truly are “cvlt as fuck” there is something here for you to as they play fast, chaotic black metal as well. Overall as debuts go, this one is a good one and I would keep an eye out for Show Me Wolves in the future.

V For Violence: The Book of V

August 22, 2015
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432820 V For Violence isn’t one of those alphabet who done it books. And this time the “V” does stand for violence and not Vengeance. For those of you who I may have lost with the first couple of sentences fear not because V For Violence is an industrial metal band from Helsinki,Finland. The Book of V is their newest effort following their 2009 debut titled The Cult of V and will be out on the 28th of this month through Inverse Records. Their second effort took some time to complete because they “wanted to take the next step in song writing and pay more attention to details”, according to the bands vocalist Jarkko.

With this being their second release they certainly did pay more attention to songwriting as well as the details. The Book of V tells stories of heart break as well as just straight up hard rocking headbangers that are just meant to be there for your head banging pleasures.

With the time they took away from the studio they developed a better sense of how to make you feel certain things while listening to the music. Some of the tracks are melancholic and make you feel like you are in a state of sadness while others make you feel like you just want to break shit over the head of your worst enemy. The balance between the vicious and the more reserved melancholy songs serves the band and the album well as it gives the songs more diversity and more of a chance for the listener to explore what this band actually has to offer.

With the subject matter that V For Violence writes about the music needs to match the lyrics of course and create that certain atmosphere that the specific song calls for. V For Violence does a good job of mixing your emotions into a blender and pureeing them until you really don’t know what to feel anymore. The blender in this case is their music and the musicianship that they bring to the table.

Most of the songs on here have crunching guitars, catchy hooks, and plenty of angry yelling. But there are the songs on here as well that play as sort of like ballads. And even though those songs are slower and more melancholic they don’t lose their edge that the other more faster and headbanging tunes have. Some of the songs have a radio friendly presence about them as well, maybe because the song “The Downfall Part II: Armourageddon” has already been on Finnish radio. Other than that song though, there are songs on here that have that aggression to them but could be on the radio as well.

The whole aggressive style is present throughout the album even with the more ballad like songs. V For Violence brings this forth with their style of play. While there doesn’t have to be any crazy shrieking guitar solos, or any blast beats that just sound inhuman, V For Violence ladles catchy riff after catchy riff, lyrics that are memorable and vocals that are both soothing and harsh. The lead singer clean sings for the most part, but he has a certain hypnotic tone to his voice that draws you in deeper into the music, but he can also growl on command when the song calls for it as well.

Behind the catchy riffs and the hypnotic vocals V For Violence does have samples of pianos, barrels and other things to mix into the music, otherwise they wouldn’t be industrial. The sounds are incorporated well never overshadowing the other instruments or making the songs sound too cluttered with noise and nothing else.

The fine balance between everything that is going on in this record makes for a sound that is diverse. Fueled by aggression and accompanied along the way by heartbreak, The Book of V is an interesting book indeed. V For Violence can make you want to trash the place as well as make you feel like you need to go sulk in a corner. Overall The Book of V is a great sophomore effort from these Finnish industrial metal lads, and well worth the listen.

Gouge: Beyond Death

August 21, 2015
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a3391654503_10 Hells Headbangers seems to be pretty damn busy this year with some pretty filthy releases. This one from Gouge came from them earlier this year in March and Hells Headbangers doesn’t seem to be slowing down with a flurry of releases coming out for the rest of the year. Other than the insane amount of output from Hells Headbangers, Gouge is on to their second release titled Beyond Death following their Doomed to Death EP.

Gouge is certainly influenced by the old school attack of death metal and it clearly shows through on all of the songs. They’re all ripping, face melting, bone breaking songs to compliment and pay a proper ode to the bands of old that started the death metal revolution.

There are zero fillers or breaks in between songs, so if you were thinking that you could escape the clutches of the pure death metal assault that is Gouge, then you would be sorely mistaken. From the opening track “Wretched Passion” to the closing track “Beyond Death” you get pure visceral death metal aggression that cuts away at your ears.

Beyond Death is a ferocious album that blasts past you in the blink of an eye if you don’t pay attention. Most of the songs fall between the one and two minute mark with only two songs that surpass it at three and four minutes. But within those short minutes you get the feeling of intensity and madness.

Gouge’s death metal attack is grimy and punishing pushing you to death metal madness. From the riffs being skin boiling and sharp, to the chaotic storm that is the drums, to the slimy shouts and growls of the vocalist, Beyond Death is a tornado of an album. The riffs are frantic and sonic leaving your head spinning. Thrown into the mix are some squealing guitar solos that don’t really break the sonic assault up, but add a sharper edge to the death metal blade. The drum kit gets used in its entirety as the drummer sounds like he beat the kit up while recording the sounds and stuck it on the record. As tumultuous as the drums are they fit perfectly alongside the rest of the chaotic sounds that Gouge brings forth in their music.

Gouge is frenzied, chaotic and any other descriptors that you can use to describe their brand of thrashing death metal. On top of all of the death metal debauchery and noise, the vocalist adds his own flavor to the venomous stew. He growls, shouts, and yells throughout seemingly channeling the singers of old and even sounding like Cronos from Venom fame at certain points. With all of this mixed together, Gouge create a concoction that any death metal fan would proud of. It’s a fast, complete mayhem type of style that gets anyone to bang their head into oblivion. Gouge deliver on all death metal accounts and is certainly risking brain injury for.

Sator: Self Titled

August 21, 2015
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a1662713525_10 The genre of doom can get a little stagnant and dry every now and then. And with the constant flow of new doom bands appearing over night you need something special and unique to set yourself apart from the blackness that is the doom genre. With Sator they mix new and old doom influences to create a sound that is unique and different.

While the music itself sounds that of traditional doom-and it is-Sator set themselves apart from the pack with their style of play as well as adding a little bit of sludge into the mix. Sludge and doom almost go hand in hand and are just about the perfect marriage between two genres. The sludge aspects add a different almost murkier feel to the music while adding faster and crunchy riffs as well as a psychedelic component.

Sator combine these two genres with ease creating what you see before you. The style of doom that they play is at times depressive, but for the most part it is gritty and heavy. You get a good balance between almost melancholy riffs and the hard rocking riffs and tunes of the sludge that Sator blend in nicely to the music.

The five songs that are displayed on this self titled album move as one. Each song melts directly into the other making the album cohesive. In other reviews I’ve mentioned and used the word cohesive a lot mainly because it is important to have a complete thought instead of completely separate ideas, especially in the world of doom. With such long run times doom bands are more apt to weave stories into one single song, and make an entire album into one long story.

As cohesive as all of the songs are it allows Sator to be as creative as they want and experiment with their sounds. The beautiful mix between the two different styles of music, between the doom and the sludge Sator creates a masterfully crafted album that doesn’t allow for one sound to overshadow the other.

The riffs are powerful and gloomy taking you on a journey to some of the darkest reaches of the planet whether you were ready for it or not. They are slow in parts and pick up in others further enhancing your need to nod your head to the music. Coupled with the depraved screams of the vocalist the album further thrusts you in a deep pit of despair.

Listening to Sator you cannot help but feel that you are alone, the world is empty and this is the sound track to your desolation. The music is depraved, gloomy and hangs over you like a pitch black cloud. The music is infectious and the riffs are memorable. Hell, the entire album is memorable. Sator know how to create a depressive desolate world for you to live in for forty minutes. Once you’re finished with the album, you will be inclined to press play again and feel the despair all over again.

Dead in the Manger: Cessation

August 20, 2015
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a0287960321_10 I’m certainly late to the party with this release as it has been out since February. That being said I’m a good six months late, but that shouldn’t matter. Cessation was put out in February through 20 Buck Spin in Olympia,Washington. The album holds six songs that are not actually titled, they’re just numbered. With Dead in the Manger you get a menagerie of different genres. They bounce back and forth between black metal, death, grind and even pepper in some doom.

Cessation begins with some dissonant noises but quickly plunges into the deep dark inner workings of the album. After the opener the songs rip and tear with unrelenting power only slowing down occasionally. According to Dead in the Manger their goal is to play music that makes you unsettled and disturbed. They come close to that without going over board and making you actually disturbed.

With all of the punishing noise that this band emits they keep a melodic atmospheric edge about them still which is something that a lot of bands that are playing similar styles of music lack. The more melodic moments come when the vocalist isn’t shredding his vocal chords with high shrieks and the full on metallic assault subside for the moment. The very opening track begins with a more melancholy guitar intro that almost makes you believe that you will be listening to a depressive or atmospheric black metal album but that all quickly subsides however. On track three the majority of the song is melodic and establishes a certain atmosphere of despair, before you really get thrust into despair. The track begins with chugging guitars and pounding drums which continues for the entirety of the song. Entering the halfway point of the song a melancholy lead plays a part in your demise. During the later half the vocalist begins his shrieks over the slower almost doom style riffs.

Not everything is melodic however and that isn’t the point of the album either. The melodious moments exist to create more depth within the music. The bulk of Cessation is a pure fiery flesh-flaying death/grind assault. Once melodic seas subside the hurricane force musicianship shows up to turn you on your head. Flurries of stomping riffs bombard your ears as the somersaulting drums hit you in the chest like a sack of bricks. The gale force riffs give way to doom laden riffs at certain points in the album giving it more diversity and more to play off of.

Bouncing between musical genres can be a bit of a chore and if it isn’t done right then it sounds like a complete cluster fuck. However, Dead in the Manger manage to keep the genres separate never having one overshadow another. The black metal aspects are there in the haunting shrieks of the vocalist as well as the chaotic style of play. The death metal flavor is prominent as well with tight riffs and pounding drumming and the doom is there as well when needed providing a break from the ever prominent onslaught.

There is something in here for everyone. Whether you are just a death metal fan, or just a fan of black metal or just a fan of doom you can find something here that suits your tastes. All in all the album is a shredder and doesn’t apologize after it has sliced your face off.

Simulacrum: Sky Divided

August 20, 2015
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simulacrum_sky_divided_cover640 What you see before you is Simulacrum’s second album set to be released on the 28th of this month through Inverse Records. For those of you who may not know, Simulacrum is a Finnish progressive metal band that strongly focuses on sci-fi and draws from just about anything sci-fi from books, to movies, to music, to everything sci-fi. Their last album released was in 2012 and it is titled The Master and the Simulacrum. As far as this effort goes it seems more focused and more driven. Perhaps the fact that the album was kept within the band as far as the recording, mixing and mastering, the music videos and the art work goes that kept the band more focused to release something that is more focused.

Sky Divided begins with the shortest song on the album titled “Time Lapse”. The song begins with synths and horns as well as other instruments, but soon dives into the metallic aspects of the song. The double bass of the drums kicks the song off properly followed by more swirling key boards creating a soundscape and a world that plays a huge part throughout the album.

After the solid intro into Sky Divided, Simulacrum do a great job of establishing an atmosphere as well as doing a great job of having you listen to the music and the stories that they weave throughout the album. With the run times of the songs being as long as they are-varying from three minutes to the longest at fourteen-they are able to create an explorable world in which they are your heavy metal guides.

Sky Divided wouldn’t be such a world if all of the songs worked against each other creating stories all on their own instead of being cohesive working together to create this symphonic world. As I mentioned above, the run times are long and with long songs and with people’s attention spans decreasing you have to keep them focused. With Simulacrum they keep you focused and zeroed in on what the bigger picture is here and that is instead of just the music being played it almost unfolds as a movie or a play.

With the theatrical vocals being coupled with the keyboard you can understand that this is or could be something more than just an album. There are of course the metallic fiery riffs and solos on this album that we all love and enjoy, but not everything is a metallic onslaught or has to be. There are nice sections in each of the songs that really showcase the vocalists voice and let him belt it out with the best. With the showcasing of the vocalists talents and with the songs slowing down it allows the keyboardist to work his magic as well showing off some ear pleasing soundscapes of saxophone solos as well as other spot on orchestral pieces.

The atmosphere that the keyboardist and vocalist provide never overshadows the crunchy riffs and pin point drumming that is being displayed. All of the elements that are mixed into the album never overshadow each other. The keyboards don’t overshadow the vocalist, the vocalist never overshadows the fiery riffs and pummeling drums that back him. The riffs are fast and calculated adding more urgency to the album as well as grit. The drums are impressive all on their own as well keeping pace with the riffs and being just as calculated. Between the riffs and the drums is the bass and it gets its proper time to shine throughout the album. The bass gives Sky Divided the extra crunch that it needs as well as providing the album with some bass solos along the way which are always welcomed.

Through and through Sky Divided is a sci-fi album meant to tell a story and it does just that. Never slowing down for too long, Simulacrum keep the head banging edge of metal and find a way to combine and find a happy medium between the metal and the symphonic components that make up the album. Sci-fi metal and being as progressive as possible is the very ethos of this band, and after their last release this is a good transformation. Overall Sky Divided is a good album. One to head bang to, one to sing along with, and one to just enjoy. The album is out the 28th of this month, be sure to check out Simulacrum!

Black Tower: The Secret Fire

August 19, 2015
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a0378744473_10 There are bands that you get that you can sing a long to and bang your head at the same time. So to the people that say that metal is nothing but a bunch of hellions screaming and slaughtering goats, I have this to say to you. What about Maiden, or Judas Priest, Metallica, or even Pantera. Those bands you can sing to and bang your head to at the same time. There are newer bands that are of the same strain such as Black Tower. The music is metal that you can sing to and is catchy all while banging your head.

The Secret Fire displays nine songs that kind of are a combination between punk and just straight up good o’l fashioned heavy metal. Black Tower have that catchy punk vibe about them, making the songs memorable. You will find yourself singing these songs a few times throughout the day because they allow you to sing along. The lyrics are of course audible, easy to understand, and memorable.

None of the nine songs sound alike, so getting variation within The Secret Fire is easy to do. Paying clear homage to some of the bands mentioned above-as well as a couple of black metal bands it sounds like-Black Tower have come up with a sound all of their own not really borrowing from anyone else. The punk influences are there and very prominent, the thrash is paired with it, and there are certain black metal aspects to the music as well that make for an interesting concoction of metal. Mixing certain genres with others is not always an easy task, but Black Tower seem to strike a pretty good balance between the several that they bring to the table. Coupled with the infectious lyrics and punk upbeat rhythms Black Tower can strike that metal nerve of yours. With all of the punk influences Black Tower retain a melodic sense about them never letting the punk overshadow the true meaning of the music.

Throughout The Secret Fire the vocals for the most part are of the clean singing, higher pitched to mid pitch variety. The black metal inspiration takes its shape in the vocals as well however. Occasionally during the album the singer will belt out some high pitched screeches reminiscent of black metal. Looking beyond the vocals, the musicianship is on point and crisp with flailing riffs and solos, and chaos controlled drumming.

The Secret Fire infects your metal nervous system with melodic musicianship, memorable lyrics, and just good head banging music. The album is a good listen for any heavy metal fan. So I say put the record on and storm the gates of some nearby castles!

Imperative Decreation: Self Titled

August 19, 2015
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a0878846846_10 Imperative Decreation hails from Lancaster,UK and play a furious style of death metal, or death grind, or whichever category they it in best. As it is known to me, this is their first and final full length album after disbanding, so sadly we will not be able to hear much more from them in the future. But that doesn’t mean their debut self titled album doesn’t get a proper review.

After you get over the wicked cover art, the contents of the album are just as wicked. I feel that Imperative Decreation set out to play as fast and as loud as they possibly could, record it and release an album. The noise isn’t just noise for noise sake however. The noise being emitted from your speakers is a fusion of death metal and grind. The marriage between the two genres seems to be one of unity and blissfulness, yet when the two are combined it seems there is nothing but turmoil. The cacophony of sound, and shredding guitars, coupled with the sonic pace at which Imperative Decreation play will probably make your ears bleed in the best way possible.

The album sports ten songs generally clocking in at two minutes or just above that. With the shorter run times which is characteristic of grind the album flies by at mach 1. The music is abrasive poking at your ear drums like a sharp knife, yet dizzying enough to warrant another listen because of all of the sound and fiery metallic fury that is launched at your face.

Through the majority of the album the songs are pure aggression fueled by hate. Fast skin shredding riffs rip and tear throughout the album, the tumultuous drums gallop along at a blistering pace, and the vocalist shreds his larynx with high pitched shrieks that get accompanied by low guttural visceral growls at certain points. During some of the songs the full blown metallic assault is yielded by a punishing down tempo break down. Don’t be alarmed that I used break down for a grind/death metal review. It isn’t the kind of break down that you hear over and over and over again in mediocre deathcore band records. It just is a break down in song. The songs that it does appear on break into a grinding, chugging riff fest only to be thrusted back into the accosting death metal that you were accustomed to.

Imperative Decreation’s stop start ability is great as well. Being able to stop such hyper riffs only to start just as quick again is impressive. This does happen throughout the self titled record allowing for the drummer to have his couple of seconds to shine through the shrieking guitars, and allowing the listener to catch his/her breath before the onslaught continues.

If you were thinking about screeching along with the songs on this self titled album, I would suggest thinking about it. The shrieks are throat bleeding goodness, and the gutturals that appear once every so often are have to tear up the vocal chords. Overall this debut is a good one. It writhes and lurches all over the place catching you off guard at the best possible moments only to throw you back on your feet (or your face depending how caught off guard you were) to continue with grinding madness that is ladled upon you. As I said above this is the first and final full length of this band, so hearing more from them is probably not going to happen. Imperative Decreation is a good debut, and worth a listen.

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