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Chris’s Underground Metal Reviews #6

Well when I was thinking of an intro to write for my new reviews, I was sitting in a Barnes and Nobles bookstore and drinking a hot chocolate and I grabbed a metal magazine to read through. Amazing that all the new releases whose bands had features or ads got great reviews, while a review of the new Angel Steel record got a 6 out of 10. Magazine is a joke.

Well, when I was thinking of an intro to writing for my new reviews, I was sitting in a Barnes and Nobles bookstore and drinking a hot chocolate and I grabbed a metal magazine to read through. It amazing that all the new releases whose bands had features or ads got great reviews, while a review of the new Angel Steel record got a 6 out of 10. The magazine is a joke.
The mag did have an interesting interview with Ceo of Metal Blade Records, Brian Slagel. He talked about the older days of the label and he had a chance to see and possibly sign Guns and Roses and he passed!!! I know they suck but think of the money he lost out on. He further said about how hard it is to break a new band these days with so many bands and all the downloads and stuff. There is just so much below average shit being released on every Tom, DIck, and Harry label these days. I’m sorry if some of you fans get offended at my reviews, but it’s my opinion and I’m honest in my reviews and we don’t need Bathory or Cannibal Corpse 50,000 times done over bands.
In my latest batch, there is some really good stuff out there so now that live music is starting, go out and see a damn show and bang thy head motherfuckers….

DeathOmen – Above Holy Ground (Self Released) 

This is kinda a weird band in the effect that they thrown a few different music styles together. I thought it was kinda cool myself. The singer at times sounds like Mille from Kreator and at other times he doesn’t. I didn’t like some of the slower parts the band has in some of the longer tunes as I prefer my music speedy and fast and with intense riffing to back it up. The production on this is good and I like the crunch the guitar has and the drum sound as well. Overall I’d give this an above-average rating.

CADAVERIC INCUBATOR – Nightmare Necropolis (Hells Headbangers)

Fuck is this what the doctor ordered when I need my death metal fix. Low tuned down mix of Autopsy meets Repulsion and throw in a bit of that classic Florida death metal sounds to boot. Perfect production as that guitar sound crushes and the singer absolutely nails it on this. There is nothing bad on this and this is honest to goodness death metal played the right way and sounding the right way. I loved this.

BEYOND MORTAL DREAMS – From Hell (Nuclear Winter Records) 

This originally came out in 2008 and now is seeing a re-release from this label. I can easily hear a huge Morbid Angel influence as this played on from the music and the vocals and that is not a bad thing as it is not total Morbid worship. The music is fast and furious and some of their colours are different that David and the boys. The music is fast and furious and will cut and slice you as this plays on. Good, solid death metal vocals and I could hear the anger and power going in through his voice also as this plays on. This isn’t a super godly release, but it doesn’t suck and if you into old Morbid Angel, you’ll want this for sure

TERMINALIST – The Great Acceleration (Self Released)

5 tunes of some speedy thrash metal that I really sang my teeth into. I loved the 3 tunes as they were just an all-out speed metal, thrash assault on this old man’s ears with some great vocals to boot. I wasn’t looking forward to the 2 long almost two 10 minute tunes, but lo and behold they were good and solid as well. Lots of time changes and also they injected speed in them too and they didn’t leave me bored and just left me wanting more. Production on this is right up my alley as well. Good job guys.

KONKHRA – Sexual Affective Disorder (Hammerheart Records) 

This originally came out in 1993 on the Progress Red Label. Apparently, this has been out of print for many years and now it sees the light as a double CD as this includes all the demos the band released. For me, this was pretty much boring. The music was faceless and went nowhere with terrible riffing and song structures that bored me. No intensity or speed and the singer just growled with no feeling or backbone to his voice. This should have stayed out of print

MOTORJESUS – Hellbreaker (AFM Records)

Just pure ass kicking high octane heavy metal with tons of catchy and memorable songs and vocals that are perfect for this band. Sort of a more powerful Sebastian Bach vocalwise and no the band do not sound like Skid Row. This is up-tempo fast banging metal all the way and tunes that will have your neck moving and the production is just so spot on it’s not funny. This is the band’s 7th album and my 1st time hearing them and I’m now a fan.

LED TO THE GRAVE – Pray For Death (H.P.G.D. Productions)

2 tunes on what I am assuming is a 7th and it is wirling old school almost old Exodus and Violence like thrash metal just an old school attack all the way. Vocals are a slice of heaven and are growls of pure death and thrash and he really gets into what he is singing/saying too. This is something any fan of old school death metal or thrash metal would love as it combines both styles perfectly.

PUTRID DEATH – PUTRED-Split CD/Rotting While They Breath (Death in Pieces Records) 

Putrid Death, who is a one-man band/project offer up 4 tunes of solid death metal and this was on an EP that the band originally released themselves. The tunes are catchy, semi speedy tunes mixed in with slower parts and the singer has a good set of death metal cords and his voice is perfect for death metal. He sings with a ton of evil and passion in his voice and the production is spot on. Putred is a doomier with a singer who sings in a more low growly voice and the music is almost like 70’s Sabbath sounding in the production at times! Overall this is a good split with 2 bands with 2 different styles, but both bands bring it.

FLUIDS – Not Dark Yet (Hells Headbangers)

I  usually love everything this label puts out and they win again. This band mix up slower doomy parts with some total blast bits of death/grind. The singer is good as he growls out the tunes with emotion and passion and he is convincing as a death metal singer. I detect a little Mortician like vocals in his voice. This is a down and dirty death/grind that is not afraid to get down en dirty in the trenches.

HEIR APPARENT – Foundations I (Vic Records) 

This label is always finding new gems that they re-release and here is another one by the sadly underappreciated at the time Heir Apparent. Their mix of power and melody was awesome and oh those vocals of singer Paul Davidson are to die for. He sings the songs with such feeling and passion on these tunes. The songs on this release contain the 2 demos that the band released in 1983 and 1984. These tunes are heavy metal, verging on power metal at times. All the tunes are a pure heavy metal paradise that you can check out again if you miss them and the tunes for being demo tunes are pretty good production-wise as well.

BRUTALITY – The Complete Demo Recordings 1987 – 1991 (Vic Records)

Some of you old-time death metal fans will remember this band from back in the 80’s that after these demos ended up signing to Nuclear Blast Records and putting out 3 releases with them and have over time released several other things, including a box set and apparently are still active today, their last release coming out in 2018. There is a huge Death (the band) influence in the music (the later stages of the band) and the vocals as the singer sounds a lot like Chuck and also since they were from Florida, it’s not hard to understand why. Now are the tunes any good you ask? They sure are as the tunes are catchy, not over progressive and still retain a total death metal sound. This stuff is a million times better than a lot of that crap coming out that is just garbage. This isn’t Death Jr and does have its own sound at times and remember these are early demos and the band got better with time.

XENOS – The Dawn Of Ares (Iron Shield Records) 

This has a lot of traces of Megadeth to it, especially the “Rust in Piece” release, but hey that was the last good album from that band ha ha and this is some damn fine thrash metal with a some tasteful soles and riffing from this band. The singer has a bit of Dave in him, but not all the snarls that Dave has and that is also a good thing in my book. The production is spot on and the tunes are speedy thrashy numbers that would please any fan of the genre, which includes me.

EUTHANIZED – Sanguine Spectacle (Helldprod Records)

To me this wasn’t anything special. It didn’t suck, but all it was, was the same sloppy like black metal played at total speed with typical black metal vocals. The atmosphere the band create wasn’t bad, but there was nothing on this that makes them stand out from the bunch of other bands that have been doing this style for decades. Sorry but this band bring nothing to the table that hasn’t been done to death and they will need to improve on their next release

VINCENT CROWLEY – Beyond Acheron (Odium Records) 

I am sure most people reading this know who Vincent Crowley is as he is the former frontman for the band Acheron. Well is back with a new band bearing his name. His vocals still sound great and he does a great job on this, but the music on this I didn’t feel was anything special. Nothing hooked me in and had me going “holy shit” or “oh my god”, etc. I am always truthful in my reviews and I have to say this was quite disappointing to say the least. This was just too much average music for my ears and not enough go for my throat and suck me in sort of stuff. At times it did, but not enough to make this anything above average at best.

PERVERSOR – Psicomoro (Hells Headbangers)

Oh, these fuckers torture me as this is only 15 minutes of some wicked death/black metal played with a fury of speed and style. A total underground like production is a welcome to my ears as I hate all this clean production crap these days. The singer has the black metal style down and the speed this band gets and plays is right up Mr Forbes’s alley. Those razor-sharp riffs will tear through you and they are also catchy as well, which I love. Come join me and let’s take a play ride to Chile and meet up with your worst fears ha ha.

AMNESSIA ETERNA – Malditos (Brutal Records) 

This had some good and bad points. The good is when they are playing fast and speedy this was a really cool release, but when they slowed it down it got into that groovy thrashy style I hate. It hate that Pantera, let’s get in the pit crap of style. When they blasted out into the speed it sounded more like prime time thrash metal. Now the singer didn’t sing in English, so that didn’t help me in the singing part of this, but he isn’t bad. If this band would lose the groove they would be so much better for it.

RITUAL SACRIFICE – When Hope Is Pain (Vic Records) 

This was recorded in 1995 and due to the label they were on going out of business this never saw the light of day until now. This is I would say technical thrash metal that reminded me of Cynic in some ways, but not as technical as they are. The tunes are catchy fast numbers and it is a shame it took that long for this to see the light of day as it is quite good. I remember this band from years back but never knew they had an album ready to be released and then the label went under. There is a good production on this and the vocals are great too and this is some wicked thrash played the old way and good way.

Nocturnal Hollow – Triumphantly Evil (Immortal Souls Productions)

This is a 2 piece death metal band and a good one yes they are. Straight forward no-frills death metal with some thick and meaty metal riffs and speed threw in with some slower parts to allow you to catch your breath. Great vocals by JR as they are powerful and heavy and don’t sound forced or generic. I of course love the speed and intensity on some of the tunes and I was playing air drums to those parts and also nodding my neck to the tunes as well. Easily one of the best death metal releases I have heard this year so far.

WARDRUM – Mavericks (Steel Gallery Records)

This is power metal with a clean voice, but powerful singer and yes in the Hammerfall vein. The singer is absolutely fantastic as he sings the songs with a ton of feeling, but the band to me just sounds like too many other bands making the rounds over the years ever since Hammerfall broke through. It is like after Entombed broke through, everyone went for that “Swedish death metal style”. The band can play, but there was nothing that took me for that wild ride I need and was craving. No fist-raising tunes that I haven’t heard before from the many other bands doing this style over the years sadly I’m afraid.

IMPALED NAZARENE – Eight Headed Serpent (Osmose Productions) 

After a long absence this band is back and they are back with a vengeance. A total blasting assault of black metal done as only the way this band can. This is like a sonic attack on your ears and doesn’t let go until the last note is expired. Vocals from the depths of hell and I wouldn’t have it any other way from this band. This just attacks you and smashes your face in and pounds away. That fast and furious and insanity guitar sound I just love and the feeling this band gets is as good as black metal can get. This band shows when black is done right, it can be a violent force that will crush all the weak before them. Everything about this is on total fire and you best get out of the way you wimps.

DRAWN AND QUARTERED – Congregation Pestilence (Krucyator Productions) 

Oh fuck yeah. Total low tuned crushing death metal of the highest order. Just brutality of death metal that lays to waste all the pussy shit in its way. Riffs and vocals from hell and the intensity and power on this are 2nd to none. I love the singer as he belts out the words like a dying man at his funeral. The feeling this band oozes is insane and this is death metal at its finest and it is straight down the line death metal and a total speed attack too with some doom mixed in and that is the way I like my death metal. Prepare to go into the fire burning and hot with these guys.

NEFARIYM/Morbid Delusions (Inverse Records) 

The label called this band “old school death metal” and yes there is some parts that have that Swedish Entombed death metal riffing, but they also have this for me kinda out of place blast beats and the drums don’t sound great on this. The singer just kind of whispers is vocals and for me he wasn’t aggressive and powerful enough. This was decent in spots as the Swedish death metal sounds weren’t too bad, but with me not digging the drum sound and the vocals, this wasn’t for me.

VULTURE – Dealin’ Death (Metal Blade Records)

Oh, this is some damn fine old school speedy thrash metal like the old days. They have that gallop riffing like back in the mid 80’s down to a science and the singer has a strong and powerful voice to go right along with the music. The music stays to try to their old speed/thrash scene and no modern shit is the music too. Think Agent Steel (old) meets Exodus and stuff like that.

GORGON – Traditio Satanae (Osmose Productions)

This is a total black metal attack and actually it is a pretty good attak. I like the singer as he has a good set of pipes for black metal style vocals. The music is a total furious attack of pure black metal that would, well satan would give his approval. The atmosphere on this is what sucked me in and while this wasn’t super original, who cares, this hits hard and fast and it gets the job done. Trust me you could do a lot worse.

GODSLAVE – Positive Aggressive (Metalville)

All I have to say is if your a fan of Exodus with Zetro on the 2nd and 3rd albums he sang on, you’ll love this. This is total Exodus worship big time. From this riffs right down to the vocals. Now in saying that, it isn’t a bad thing as I am a huge Exodus fan and hated them with Rob Dukes. The band has that Bay Area crunch down to a science and it does sound crushing on this I must say. If you like Exodus, you will go postal over this and I will close by saying I enjoyed it too.

GNOSIS – Omens from the Dead Realm (Godz Ov War Productions)

This was a pretty cool combo of death metal and a touch of black metal here and there. The music is both fast and slow at times and the riffing and songs are catchy and are not bad and I like the guitar sound the band has and the singer has a good growly voice as well. The band also mixes in some slower keyboard parts that makes for a quick mood before going back into a full blasting mode ha ha. Decent band.

NECROCHAOS – Mortal Angels Descent (Godz Ov War Productions)

Oh prepare to be crushed by this death metal attack of speed and intensity and a few breaks to let you catch your breath. Who cares if it’s not original as this band play death metal the right way and those riffs are slicing through my body and that singer oh is he a pure death metal attack as well as he sounds like a man with hours left in his body moaning out his last breaths. It’s the guitar sound that sucked me in and then the speed and razor riffing that kept me there. Great job.

BLACK HOSTS – Onward into the Abyss (Helldprod Records) 

This is a total 80’s style assault of thrash like Whiplash and the like. While the music wasn’t bad and the band are playing that nu-metal shit, this just falls short of the mark. I wasn’t a fan of the singer at all and songs just didn’t catch my ears enough to make me go “fuck yeah” and go all out in a headbang mode. This was “ok” and I will give props to the band for at least playing thrash the right way, but I’m afraid that not’s enough

MISFIRE- Sympathy For The Ignorant (Self-Released)

This wasn’t bad, but it goes in the Pantera vein a bit too much. The music is crunchy and a bit more faster that Pantera, which was cool and I liked the solos from the guitar player as well. The singer though sounds a bit too much like Phil and he should try and work on maybe having more of his own style of vocals. Overall this isn’t bad for a debut and the band play more in a thrashier mode than Pantera that’s for sure and that was a good thing in my book.

KILLING ADDICTION – Mind of a New God (Xtreem Music) 

Yes, this is the same Killing Addition from way back when in Florida. They are back with their 2nd album and have decided to carry on in the memory of guitarist and original member Chad Bailey (the brother of vocalist/ bassist Pat Bailey), who unfortunately passed away in 2016. Now your asking is the music any good? Hell yes, it is. Bone crushing, balls to the wall, rip your head apart death metal in the vein of Death, Immolation, Incantation, etc. Sick vocals by Patrick Bailey only adds to the madness and this is for the death maniacs out there. Great production as well just tops this off. Get it dammit and welcome these guys back.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM – Blood In The Water (AFM Records) 

Wow this came as quite the surprise. I mean that in a good way my friends. This is hard hitting, bone crunch thrash metal that quite surprised me as I expected a lame ass release. Not hardly. Great riffing, catchy tunes, simple awesome vocals and a great production too. This just smashes you into pieces and it’s just total in your face ass kicking thrash and not that Pantera crap, fuck no. Give this band and your ears a chance and you’ll be surprised at the end of the rainbow.

SARMAT – 28 (Rising Nemesis Records)

Some decent melodic black metal with strong vocals. This is not a speed for speed sakes band and the strong production also helps the band on this too. The riffing and stuff is quality and catchy and not a bunch of noise. The production is also strong and that also helps, at least in my ears. Trust me you could do worse with a lot of other black metal bands. Check out the links below and give them a chance.

LUCIFER’S HAMMER – The Trip (High Roller Records)

Excellent heavy metal with tons of catchy memorable riffs and solos and awesome vocals to match. A nice guitar-based production with a thick crunch only added to this and the guitar sound is godly. Thank god a band that sounds like a heavy metal band should sound and this is not overly produced and has that 80’s like production as well. The singer just belts out the lyrics with a ton of passion and feeling too. This is an A plus in my book

DUNGEON SERPENT – World Of Sorrows (Nameless Grave Records)

This is a pretty good melodic death metal band here. The music has the old sounds of the band Death but mixes in some melody to their music and while you might think it’s a weird combo, it really isn’t at all. The tunes are still crushing and they still let loose with some furious blast beats and the singer is a total death metal singer all the way, it’s they inject some melody in the mix at times and I would say that’s more in the solos of the tunes really. A wicked guitar sound as well on this and this just doesn’t sound like every other death metal band on the planet, so that was cool with me as well. Check these guys out for something different.

WITCH CROSS – Angel Of Death (High Roller Records)

This band has been around since 1984 and released a great album called “Fit For Fight” back then. This features band co-founder guitarist Mike Koch along with a new line-up. This started off ok, but by song # 4 I was growing bored with it. The tunes are to me, just a weak attempt at power rock with not much power behind the tunes. The songs are not super catchy and are nowhere near as good as the debut all those years ago. Hey not many bands today put out classic releases these days anyway. The only good thing I can say is the singer has a good set of pipes and he at least sings the tunes with a power and fury, but this is just not good at all I’m afraid

CEREBRAL ROT – Excretion of Mortality (20 Buck Spin)

Low tuned down, crushing death metal that you would find in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Think bands like Immolation, Incantation or Rottrevore. Thick as fuck riffs and slow punishing riffs that will put you in pain and vocals from the deepest part of hell itself. The production is fantastic and that guitar sound is mint for sure. The music is mostly mid-paced with some speed thrown in at times. This one is a keeper for sure.

GENOCIDIO – The Grave (Nuclear War Now! Productions)

This band is from Brazil and this originally came out in 1988 as an EP and included on this as bonus tracks are some live tracks and demos. This shit is raw as fuck early sounding black death and they don’t play around I can assure you. No modern production and this is dusty, bar full or drinks demo sounding shit like it was in the 80’s when you got a demo tape in the mail. This is something you can feel the power and feeling as the music ozzes out of the computer I can tell you that. This is a pure old school dream and trust me get this and you will love me for it,

KROSSFYRE – Rites of Extermination (Hells Headbangers) 

This was old school death metal, but it didn’t do much for me. Below average music with same ole vocals to me. This band didn’t bring much to the underground metal table I’m afraid. This was just like “blah” and it didn’t totally suck, but it wasn’t even average in my book. The songs just lacked that killer hook or feeling to reel me in

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