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Chris Forbes’s Metal Reviews #11

Well I'm back with some new reviews to have you sink your teeth into. As you will notice by reading my reviews, lots of goodies in this set. I notice more and more brutal death metal bands are releasing stuff and at least as far as the promos I am getting less and less of that nu metal crap, which is fine by my ears. I hope after you read my reviews, you will check out the interviews I have posted on here as I don't do just fly by night interviews. I may them interesting as possible and hopefully the band answers the same way. Until my next set, keep the horns up and those neck snapping away to underground metal...now onto the reviews...

DAELKYR/AZZAYA/KARANIK/OHOL YEG/WRATHFIST/Tainted Hordes of Sathariel (Sathariel Records) A 5-way split with each band having a song each. Daelkyr starts off things and they are dent with some fast-picking black metal with a bit of melody to their sound. Azzaya wasn’t as good as to my ears they sounded like generic black metal. Karanlik offers a violent attack of black metal that fuckin rules. Awesome vocals that slay away the weak as well. Theis sound is just unrelenting as well. They bring it and then some. Ohol Yeg brings more of the same as the previous band, unloading a relentless display of war-like black metal that is fast and powerful and oh those fuckin vocals crush. Prepare to die you bastards. Last but not least is Wrathfist who offers up some vicious black metal that is a tad more melodic than the other bands, I liked, but didn’t love. Overall a very good and solid 5-way split.

BURYING Place – In The Light Of Burning Churches (Inferna Profundus Records) Typical forgettable death metal with low throaty vocals and generic death metal with totally forgettable riffing and song structures. The vocals totally are overproduced as well, burying the guitars and music. Not a good one here I’m afraid and his vocals aren’t even strong death metal vocals to boot.

GUTRICYDE/Self Titled (Corpse Gristle Records) Some decent, straightforward death metal. The vocals aren’t bad and the music is standard no-frills death metal. Thick, chunky, head-banging-like riffs fill the sky as this played. This reminded me a lot of Death’s “Leprosy” album, which isn’t a bad thing. The vocals aren’t like Chuck’s as they are more low and growly. The production is great and that guitar sound on this is crushing. Not bad at all and if you can’t get enough of the death metal sound, this isn’t a bad place to go to. The video below and info as well:

INTOXICATED/Watch You Burn (Seeing Red Records) This is a speedy death band and a good one at that. They also throw a bit of thrash metal in the mix as well. The hooks in the songs got to me as well as the singer, what a set of pipes and what delivery in them too. The production is spot on and this will easily win you over in seconds. This will remind fans of the later releases of Death for sure in the music and the vocals as well. This is easily one of my favourite releases of the year so far and once you listen you’ll agree with me too.

PAGANIZER/Beyond The Macabre (Transcending Obscurity Records) This Swedish band have come up with a pretty nice death metal release here. The band mixes in death metal w/some melody and nice catchy hooks and blast beats at times as well. The singer has a good set of pipes and his vocals don’t seem generic or forced. He sings with passion and fury and doesn’t get me wrong just because Mr Forbes said melody, don’t for think one minute this is not straight all in all-out death metal. Check out the videos below and judge for yourself:

SERPENTSHRINE/Allegiance to the Myth (Signal Rex) I was ready to dismiss this as the same ole black metal and after a few minutes, I realized it wasn’t. This isn’t just let’s play a million miles an hour and stretch and scream into the mic singing about satan. Oh, there are blazing speed parts, fuck yeah, and I loved them, but this band also slows down and lets melody take over as well. The singer isn’t bad for black metal and yes the guitar sound is that fast pic riffing style, but there was something that caught my ear with this band. Give them a try. Sample track:
CADAVER COLIS/Offerings of Rapture and Decay (Iron Bonehead) Just sickening and punishing old-school death and doom metal with sprinkles of black metal here and there. The slow parts will take you and squeeze you tight and then the faster parts will blow you into pieces. Look this guy doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but the music on here will take you back to the times when death metal was new and refreshing. The vocals are great too as he has a great death metal style of growling, oh fuck yeah. The fast-blasting parts had me grinning from ear to ear. This is fuckin fantastic. Info:

NECRONOMICON/The Final Chapter (El Puerto Records) Yes this is the same one from all those years ago. This is the band’s newest release and it is a pretty nice slab of hard-hitting thrash metal. Destruction comes to mind at times while this plays on with the singer sounding a bit like Blitz from Overkill. The songs are fast, speedy tunes with no jump or nu metal in sight: thank god for that. Yes, there are a couple of new members on this according to the bio I got, but heck after 10 albums, what do you expect. If you like speedy German-style thrash, you’ll love this.

SHADOW’S MORTUARY/Unohdettu Maa (Purity Through Fire) This was pretty bad. Senseless black metal with a horrible screaming singer and even some of the parts are punkish in nature and I dare say it, groovy in nature!! What the fuck! This got old and got boring really quick.

GRAVE INFESTATION/Persecution of the Living (Invictus Productions) Oh this hits below the belt and chops me to my knees. Bone crushing old school death metal of the highest order. Thick, punishing riffs that will melt your brain. Vocals from hell. This is what death metal should be and needs to be. Fuckin raw and nasty and goes for your throat and never lets up you fuckin wimpy bastards. The soundtrack to your hell. A death metal dream or your worst nightmare.
SAVAGE GRACE/Master of Disguise (Hammerheart Records) The lovely people at Hammerheart Records have re-issued this classic release and damn right it deserves it. What we have here is a double disc, with plenty of bonus tracks including an early EP from the band, demo tracks and plenty of other goodies. This is not all and out speed metal, but more of melodic speed metal with clean-like vocals sung with power and fury behind them. Sort of like the debut release of Anthrax at times. These guys should have been bigger than they were and this release over the years has always been labelled a classic with damn good reason. An 80’s classic that is now back in the public eye and well worth your ears and time. This raises your fist high metal all the way.
MALEFIC THRONE/Same (Hells Headbangers) A wicked 4 song EP from this band, including a nice Sodom cover as well. This group features guitarist Gene Palubicki (PERDITION TEMPLE, Angelcorpse, BLASPHEMIC CRUELTY), vocalist/bassist Steve Tucker (Morbid Angel, Warfather), and drummer John Longstreth (Origin, Hate Eternal, ex-Angelcorpse). Yes, you could and would expect death metal at its highest order and this doesn’t disappoint baby. All 4 tunes are sick speedy blasts of death metal and the Sodom cover had me on my knees. Death metal fans will be going postal over this as it more than lives up to the billing of who is playing on it.
ETRE/I Human (Self Released) This is a progressive metal band with touches of goth to them as well. Wow, the female singer is incredible as her vocals fill the air and she has such a passion about her and she fits the music big time. The tunes on this are awesome to me as they are catchy and don’t seem generic at all either. They just mix in all the styles perfectly and when you have a powerful singer going great with the music it blends perfectly. It’s just so fresh to hear something like this and not the same ole death metal or black metal jr bands. This was something my ears have not heard before and I loved it. Check this band out if you are open-minded and not looking for the same ole same ole.
MORTIFY/Fragments at the Edge of Sorrow (Chaos Records) This was one I got into right away and even though I am not the biggest fan of prog metal, and this had some, I loved it. Wicked, crushing death metal with prog parts mixed in and I loved it. A pure death metal singer’s dream too as the singer was right on the money. Another cool thing was this wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill death metal band and they just didn’t throw prog parts in because they could. Plenty of speed and slower parts are mixed in as well. Something cool and different on this no doubt. I liked it a lot.
SACRIFIX/World Decay 19 (Thrash Or Death Records) This was like a weak version of Testament. The songs just didn’t have that speed I crave and this sounded just like when Testament started to go to a slower sound in their music and went away from “The New Order” era of their music. The singer is decent, but the music falls flat and just seems lifeless to me. I wish this had more speed and power behind it and not so much of a Testament clone. Guys go whip out their early stuff and listen to early Overkill. Whiplash and bands of that nature. The mid-paced stuff doesn’t cut it. Us thrash fans want it fast and powerful.

WASTED/The Haunted House (Self Released) This band has been around since 1981 and this is the band’s 4th album! This is a solid release of balls to the wall metal. Powerful riffs and powerful vocals will bring out the metal person in you, even if there isn’t one ha ha. Songs that are both catchy and heavy big time. Sort of reminds me of Accept at times. Production is also very good and doesn’t sound all modern and crap like that. This is metal and I hate all that slick production at times. Check out a video of the band below as well.

BLASPHEMATORY/The Lower Catacombs (Nuclear Winter) Low-tuned, chainsaw-like death metal baby. Sick, slow-like, slowly dying riffs along with faster parts. But you say, Chris, that’s nothing original. Ah, but I never said it was, and who fuckin cares as this band gets it done and the guitar sound owns me and the vocals are from depths of hell and the music is not much farther back haha. The production is sick too as it takes me back to the early days of death metal. While as I said, this breaks no new ground, it more than gets the job of a real death metal band, playing death metal the way it has to be and should be played.
NECROM/All Paths Are Left Here (Osmose Productions) Kinda like the above band to a point this band isn’t breaking any new ground, but holy shit is this a killer release. These motherfuckers don’t play around. Fast and brutal as fuck baby. I mix of old Entombed and Asphyx my ears say. This guitar sound had my neck moving in seconds and the songs are big-time catchy and fast the way I like my metal and when you have a singer that also delivers the goods, you have one hell of a debut release. This band should be big-time happy with this one. Crushes all weak souls.
OBSCENE/From Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon (Blood Harvest) I wasn’t fond of this at all. Yes, this is death metal, but it is death metal I found it boring. I didn’t like the singer and the guitar sound was bad and the song structures and riffing didn’t strike a chord with me. This just played on and nothing hit the right chord with me I’m afraid. They might be with you. Sample song and info below:
MEDIUM/Post Holocaustic Conception (Dark United Media) This band was/is from Cuba and this is a comp of the band’s demo from 1993 and their 2001 album on American Line Productions (god I haven’t heard that name in forever) and an Entombed cover. The demo is fast, growly death metal that didn’t sound bad at all to my ears. On the demo, they do the Entombed cover (Funebre Epilogue) and give it their own sound big time, which was cool in my book. The demo didn’t have that generic sound that a lot of bands had at the time. Now onto the album.
While this was released 8 years later, the band still retains their crushing death metal sound, even with 3 new band members. They have that crunchy death metal sound that won’t disappoint any fan of this genre. A worthy purchase for sure.
METHODS OF TORTURE/Compilation (Dark United Media) A 10-song compilation and what a great one it is. How can you go wrong with the death metal band Evil Incarnate, who start off their destroying brand of death metal in style? Viogression is next, who I hope to interview soon, with their Obituary style death metal. My 1st time visiting Savage Torment and I liked what I heard. Pounding, fast death metal blasting with some good vocals. Murmur, holy shit did they blow me away. A total old-school death metal onslaught with bits and pieces of black metal. The sound and power of this band make this worth getting along ha ha. A nice mix of bands on this and not just one standard form of death metal playing the same styles either.

FRIGHT/Same (Horror Pain Gore Death Records) This is a thrash/death metal band and a local one that is from my neck of the woods (NJ/US as well. They have a mix of a bit of groove and old-school thrash/death metal as well. The singer has a nice, good voice that I didn’t mind and the production was good and the drums didn’t have that trigger sound as well. The speedy parts rang well with me too. Overall a pretty nice job on this by these guys.

IRONJHAWK/Ritual of the War Path (Dying Victims Productions) This was a metal/punk style band and although the music is excellent, I wasn’t digging the vocals much. Don’t expect a crossover band like DRI or COC (when they were good), this is more punk style played with a mid-pace style. The singer, while his style does fit the music, just didn’t win me over with his vocals. If you were into the early punk scene, you will like/love this as this will bring you back to those times and by that I mean 1980-1983. The production is nice en dirty as well and they get upper points too. This will be hit or miss with most of you.

DROWN THE LIFEGUARD/Eroding Places (Self Released) Sorry guys I was not into this at all. This is that groove nu-metal stuff that I totally can’t stand. The jump metal, Pantera thing just doesn’t float my boat. It is well done if you like that sort of thing, but for me, I’ll pass.

SKUMSTRIKE/Deadly Intrusions (Self-Made God Records) A vicious slice of black/thrash metal that will have you loving the fire pits of hell. Razor sharp riffing like thrash used to be and should be along with a total old school, raw production that this music should be. Vocals from the depths of hell are totally killer and awesome. This will just knock you over like a 10-foot pole and smash your head into pieces. The band just get that feeling oozing out and feeling that I loved and can’t be faked. This just totally rules and if you don’t buy this, well you’re a fool. Video link below and label info too.

DEAD JOKER/Ambivilent (Grom Records) There were some good things on this and some really good things and a baddie thing. The baddie thing is the clean female vocals they use at times. Lose them. I feel they have no place in a thrash or death metal band and yes Celtic Frost used them aeons ago and that was when it was fresh and different. This just sounds out of place. Now this band plays a sort of groovy thrash and most would think I’d be trashing this, but they are good at what they do. Strong songs and catchy memorable tunes as well make this a strong, likeable release. For the groove metal style, this is one of the best I’ve heard.
JOME STYLE SURGERY/Brain Drill Poetry (Metal on Metal Records) This reminds me of the debut album of the awesome thrash metal band Forbidden. Roaring vocals, tasteful playing, and raging speed baby. Riffs and songs that you will bang that head, play air guitar and playing the drums as well. Production is good and solid and that guitar sound and crunch sent me into heaven. Finally some classic thrash and not all this so-called thrash that all it is, is Pantera Jr. This is a classic.
CRUEL SPIRIT/Regression-Arrogance (Born for Burning Productions) This is a one-man black metal band and what we have here are his or the band’s 2 demos on one CD, which is cool to have if you missing one or for that matter don’t have any. While I’m not the biggest black metal fan, this was actually pretty good the guy has a good voice for black metal and on both demos, this wasn’t a wall of noise. It’s a mix of slower mid paced almost doomy parts at times and then full all-out black metal blasting. I have heard way worst easily 1000 times over the years and this guy knows how to write a song structure and not just blast a million miles an hour and scream at the top of his lungs. Good black metal finds here.
BLASPHEMOUS/Eternal Misanthropy (Self Released) Local band from Phia, PA and they play a mix of black and death metal. The cool thing is this is not some typical play a million miles an hour black metal band. They control the speed and the riffing and song structures are quite good. The vocals are also in a mix of death and black metal and I like them. Hopefully, this EP is the start of something really good for this band cause they are on their way. Info:
METAL ON METAL/Compendium of Metal Vol. 14 (Metal On Metal Records) I remember the many Metal Blade Massacre series that came out in the 80s and it always had some good to great bands on it for sure. Metal on Metal is a fantastic label in its own right and here we have Vol # 14 of their brand of metal with 11 bands churning out 12 songs. Kommand really stood out for me with a blistering early-speed metal attack and also Home Style Surgery and you can read my review of their full album above as well. Ignitor had me smiling with their Judas Priest “Painkiller” style track with some great vocals too by the singer. Chainbreaker off some early chainsaw-like sounds melodic speed/thrash metal to my ears and it was really cool. Legion was pretty bland and too melodic for me and the keyboards were awful they sound out of place and the singer wasn’t so great either. The 2nd song has those generic clean and death metal-like low growls and I just personally hate that when bands do that. The band goes away with Vomit Division who takes me back to 85 when the underground was starting out with his thrashing sounds. The rest of the bands were pretty bad, to say the least, and just like Metal Blade all those years ago, you get the good, the band and the even better. Metal on Metal Records is one of the better bands making the rounds these days though and hell when you name your label after an Anvil song, you better fuckin deliver.

VIOLENTOR/Manifesto Di Odio (Time To Kill Records) Violent war speed/thrash metal is the ticket here. The problem with this is the songs are pretty weak and not so good. The singer doesn’t have a strong voice and the songs are not catchy, not strong, not powerful and not memorable at all. I didn’t like the guitar sound either and this is just like a fly-by-night band that plays nothing worthy at all.

PROJECT ROENWOLFE/Edge of Saturn (Divebomb Records) A nice slicing slab of speedy power metal with a great singer. He has a nice set of pipes and he sounds great on this too. He sings the songs with a nice set of passion and emotion and the songs are big-time catchy and memorable to boot. Production is perfect and the guitar crunch is off the charts, my friends. This is one of the best of these so-called modern-day prog Hammerfall-like bands and they don’t even sound like me, but you get my drift. Info:
VULCANO/Stone Orange (Emanzipation Productions) Fuck yeah I say to this. This band many will remember if you were around back in the old days of the speed/thrash scene. They are back and this is some serious speed/thrash still played in an explosive manner. Razor sharp riffing and those godly shouted vocals had my fists up in the air and air guitar not long after. Production is also on fire and it doesn’t have any of that newer sounds thrown in the mix if you get my drift. This is a pure thrash metal delight and glad to see the band is back and still making fantastic music.
VULNIFICUS/Invocation (Self Released) Low, sick putrid death metal vocals and a mix of death/black metal music are what you will find on this. While these 2 guys aren’t doing anything I haven’t heard before, I liked it. The vocals were also a bit different at times and he sang in a wicked low putrid style I liked. Chainsaw pounding riffs and death metal mixed in with some black metal, a tiny bit, twirl this up in a blender to get death metal mixed in with bloody speed and a few slower parts to have you catch your breath. They also did things with the bass in certain tunes that worked rather well I’d say. Check them out if you dare.
SPELLFORGER/Upholders of Evil (Dying Victims Productions) This label does its attack and finds another old school Kreator-like band. Sure it’s not original, but who gives a fuck, any band that plays Kreator’s “Pleasure to Kill” era speed/thrash is a winner in my book. Mille like vocals too, but the band does have a bit of its own sound as well, but this is mostly Kreator worship big time. Info:

STELLAGEN/From Dying Stars (Self Release) Music wise this isn’t bad, but oh those vocals are bad. The music is melodic thrash metal and melodic death metal, but I hated the “clean vocals: and I hated his “growls: and I just wasn’t a fan of his voice. It sounded too out of place and he just didn’t have it in my book. This is one of those in the middle bands for me, where the music is cool to decent, but the vocals ruin it. Video and band info are below.

TED NUGENT/Detroit Muscle (Pavement Music) I have always been a Nugent fan even seeing him back in the late ’70s and early 80’s several times. Here he is back on an indie label and a brand new album. Most times when these older classic rock bands or artists releases new music it is horrible and does not leave up to their reputation. Now while this is no “Catch Scratch Fever” or Stranglehold”, this is a fantastic release of rock n roll as only the Nuge can do. Hell, damned if that guitar sound is still flying strong and the production is great and I was just digging and nodding along to the tunes on this big time. Hell damn, rock n roll lives on and Nugent proves it.
POST MORTEM/The Monumental Pandemonium (Great Dane Records) This isn’t bad, but it just sounds like too many other death metal bands making the rounds and the singer sounds the same as so many others I’ve heard with his throaty voice of death. The songs just didn’t have that killer push to take this band over the top so to speak. They aren’t bad, but it’s nothing special so it’s like you’re stuck in the middle so to speak. Hopefully, they will work a bit on their songwriting and also I hope someone will tell them there was another band called Post Mortem out there from years back.
ANTICREATION/From The Dust Of Embers (Nuclear Winter Records) Violent, ruthless death/black metal that rips and tears out your souls. This is way more death metal than black metal as there are only traces of black metal, but fuck does this get the job done and more. This just lashes out at you with fury and doesn’t let you go or down. The vocals are awesome and fit the music big time. They just have that “it” sound in death/black circles if you know what I mean and this band doesn’t play around and will take you on a chainsaw-pounding ride that is not for the weak, I can tell you of that. This is an attack on the very soul of your fuckin heart. Prepare for war.
SEDIMENTUM/Suppuration Morphogénésiaque (Me Saco Un Ojo / Memento Mori) This is slice churning death metal of the highest order. Thick disgusting riffs that will tear you apart limb from limb. The blazing speed that will pound you into the ever world. When they slow it down and your body gets a quick break before the high speed of death blasts you into shock. I fuckin love this band and this release. It’s ugly, it’s dirty, and it is the perfect meal at the table for any self-deserving death metal fan. Dive in and get yourself some.
TORCH/Live Fire (Metalville) This band released an EP and a couple of full lengths in 1982 and 84 and now they are back having released a new album in 2020. But this is a live show that was recorded at the Swedish Rock Fest. The band sounds really good on this as they pump out a set of pure metal right down the line. The live sound is superb and this doesn’t have that newer metal sound, this has more of that early 80’s sound which was a welcome sound to my ears. This was a pure ass-kicking set by this band. Prepare to bang thy head

HATRIOT/The Vale Of Shadows (Massacre Records) The band according to their bio, added more death metal vocals and a more metalcore sound as well. Well, you can guess what they sound like now? Just a generic Pantera-inspired band with a trigger drum sound. God was this awful as the singer sound terrible with his screams and they would have better off getting rid of all the death metal growls as they don’t belong in thrash metal guys and the trigger drum sound too. Mid-tempo is fine and there were some wicked thrash parts on this, but it was too far in between. Please guys ditch Pantera and go back to the Exodus sound I heard on this at times and you’ll rule.

VULNIFICUS/Innomination (Self Released) This is an older 3-song EP and I could immediately notice the difference between the 2 releases. This also has the chainsaw-crushing death metal sounds and a total speed attack, but I’d say the tunes on the new release have a more mature sound to them and you can see the band has gotten father along with their sound. The singer I like on both these releases, but the newer one is better as they mix things up just a tad and the songs are more memorable and therefore, better.

THE PRIMITIVE/Broken Diseasing Oblivious (Self Released) My man is back and he is back with 4 new tunes to bash my skull into. Fast, wicked riffs, explosive speed, metal from hell vocals and just an overall atmospheric treat to dull what senses you have left. Jim doesn’t play around and this is sick, low-tuned, straight-for-your-throat death metal all the way. This reminds me of the early 90’s death metal scene again and I love this release dammit.
L.V.I./Mentally Embalmed (Thrashback Records) This AZ band sadly only released one demo in their career, but Eric over at Thrashback Records has re-released this and it sounds great to my thrash-loving ears. I have never heard of this band back in the day, but I’m glad Eric found them and re-released this. 4 tracks of speedy thrash with a bit of technical side to them. The production for a demo is really cool and it’s a shame some smart label didn’t pick these guys up. If you are into Violence, Atrophy, etc, you’ll love this band if you have never heard them.

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