It’s time for some Monday Morning Mayhem! Monday Morning Mayhem is brought to you by heavy metal of course, and today for this edition of this column I bring to you some of the heaviest metal. Read on and enjoy!
We kick this week off with a thrash attack hailing from Los Angeles, California. These thrash cretins call themselves RattBlack and the above is their self titled debut. RattBlack is a great throwback to old school thrash metal but with a newer sound, if that makes any sense. The entire album is incredibly crisp and clean and yet it still packs that gritty no nonsense punch. This self titled debut is nine songs, which means you have nine songs to try to survive from all of the headbanging you will do while listening. Surviving head trauma and brain damage from your furious headbanging ways may be a difficult task being that RattBlack induces fits of headbanging rage. There’s nothing you can do to stop yourself, the music is highly toxic and terrifyingly infectious. This debut works its way into your brain laying thrash eggs that control your mind and make you break out in air guitar solos and feverish fits of thrash rage. Through the entirety of this album you get stellar guitar work which is supplemented by great guitar solos and backed by a drum performance that leaves you battered and bruised. And since this is thrash metal, you get a thick bass that hits you over the head like a hammer. Over top the sonic musical performance, the vocalist shouts and belts out the lyrics to each thrash anthem on this album. The musicianship is spot on, and it sounds like RattBlack took everything that thrash had to offer and took the speed that thrash had to offer and cranked it up to an even higher level than ever before. RattBlack breaths some life into an almost dying genre with a very creative and very well crafted album. This debut is a great listen, and it belongs on any thrash or metal heads shelf.
Ever feel the need to be horrified and yet rock out at the same time? Well look no further than London based band Possessor and their EP Stay Dead. Stay Dead is an old school fueled horror show and for four songs you’re trapped inside the mind of a mad man. For having an older sound, Possessor keep everything fresh and new as well. Nothing is out dated or has been used before. Possessor bring an interesting take on horror and metal alike. What you end up getting with Stay Dead is a blasphemous and dark shock to your system. Possessor supply nightmares in music form and take you from your safe and warm home to an abandoned house where they torment you further. The overall sound is very gritty and dirty as if they had just been dug up from the grave. The nice thing about this EP is the fact that Possessor isn’t overtly haunting, they don’t over do theatrics or get too involved with anything that would compromise the music itself. In fact, they let the music itself do the haunting and possessing, they let it creep up on you and make you shiver in a corner. Since there really aren’t theatrics the music does all of the talking. It’s the way that Possessor plays that really fits the horror genre. As mentioned, the overall sound is gritty and sludge filled. The entire EP is murky and as heavy as heavy gets. Stay Dead is stacked wall to wall with jarring riffs an accosting bass, a solid drum performance and dissonant vocals that sound like they’re being sung through a megaphone and recorded some yards away. Overall, the listen is a great one; one that gets you up and moving and effectively makes you feel as though you are wandering through a haunted house.
The above looks like a death metal or black metal album right? That would be wrong, well partly wrong. Overlord hails from Australia and Thy Tormentor is their new EP off of Put to Death Records. Overlord is a menagerie of genres. Overlord is mostly hardcore with death metal and a bit of beat down sprinkled in. Throughout this EP you get plenty of different looks into metal and different styles. A lot of the time during Thy Tormentor you get the hardcore approach, but every now and then Overlord changes tempos and switches into a more death metal style romp. Overlord gives each genre that is blended into their brand of metal a fair share of air time transitioning between each with ease. Overlord seems to have taken the heaviest parts of hardcore and death metal to create their sound. Each song is concrete shattering heavy and they dose out plenty of breakdowns to last you at least half a year. Each riff, each breakdown is played by anvil heavy riffs that get you headbanging in the blink of an eye. Backed by the riffs are the drums that from the get go are on a mission to make you crippled for life. As if the music couldn’t get any heavier the bass supplies a nice thick sledgehammer quality. The most interesting part about Overlord is the vocal style as it never stays the same. The vocalist borrows from hardcore, death metal and even has a little bit of a brutal death flair as well. The hardcore vocals are either spoken or yelled at you just like your P.E. teacher yelled at you for being too much of a puss to climb that dammed rope. The death metal style vocal comes in the form of a gravely roar that is used sparingly yet effectively, and the brutal death vocal comes in normally on breakdowns and is an utterly subterranean guttural assault. Thy Tormentor is heavy as heavy gets and is an interesting listen since they borrow from many different genres to create this sound.
Skipping over to Sweden we find death dealers Just Before Dawn and their new EP The Dead And Those About To Die. The Dead And Those About To Die is a five track steamroller of pure death metal. Just Before Dawn plays a more old school style of death metal, but not everything on this EP is blistering and blood boiling. They add an element of melody into their music to add some atmosphere and variation. Before Grave Without Crosses the first two songs are more of the typical run and gun death metal, but Grave Without Crosses is more of an emotional song. Grave Without Crosses is melancholy and depressing and played at a slower tempo to really drive the fact home that it isn’t suppose to be a blazing death metal anthem. However, those blazing chunky straight up unfiltered death metal songs are present; in fact the majority of the EP contains those face shredding death moments. The Dead And Those About To Die hits on war and the death that comes with it, so the overtone of the album is pretty sullen and morbid and Just Before Dawn does a great job of providing you with a wide range of emotion. The entire EP is very well crafted and Just Before Dawn makes you feel as though you are walking through a war torn valley of death and despair. Each song is heavy hitting and each riff is powerful and the drums are as blasting as you would like them to be. The vocals are monstrous and sound as though they really are coming from a behemoth. War is a common theme in metal, but the way in which Just Before Dawn plays it really sets a different tone, and this EP is a great listen for any death metal fan.
That concludes this Monday Morning Mayhem. Enjoy responsibly and remember to keep headbanging!