I am now going to be reviewing some music in my column under the title of Chris’s Underground Metal Reviews on besides doing my interviews that they have been nice enough to publish. Now some of my reviews at times might be a bit too short and for that, I’m not gonna apologize. The thing is, I have been reviewing underground metal music since 1986 and I have heard 1000’s upon 1000’s of bands, both great, bad, really bad, and really good and everything in between. I will try and make my reviews a big longer on here for everyone I promise.

Look I am not looking to hear something completely original when I listen to something to review. And even then, just because something is original, doesn’t mean it is good.
When I listen to an underground metal band (thrash/death/black/power/heavy, etc) I listen for that hook to suck me in. That devastating riff that makes me start to move my neck up and down or tap my foot. I want to feel emotion or feeling behind the music. I want the singer to be singing with a lot of emotion and feeling. I want to be sucked in and taken for a ride.

What I don’t want is trigger sounding drums, 10th rate let’s sound like a 1000 other black metal sounding Bathory clones with a terrible production, with vocals recorded in the woods at 3 am or 50th rate Cannibal Corpse sounding bands neither. Trust me I get that stuff sent to me a lot!

In closing, I hope you enjoy my reviews and when I do these I think of you (yes you the fan cause I’m certainly still one) and whether I think you would enjoy the release or not.
Horns up and I can always be reached @ [email protected]
Let’s mine some ground through below!!!

DROPDEAD/Dropdead (Armageddon Label)

I loved the re-release of this band’s debut album and now we have the follow-up which came out originally in 1998. This like the debut just is an absolute blast of hardcore/grind that doesn’t take much time off in the speed area haha. The singer screams his lungs out like a man possessed and this isn’t your momma’s hardcore band you might have heard in back in the 2000s. This is a pure assault on your ears and if you like short, pure grindcore blasts of delight, then this band is for you. Think old DRI (Dealing with It) and bands like Larm and production is good too. Fuck this singer rips his throat singing this stuff. I await album #3.

Dropdeadhc.bandcamp.com

ENTROPHY/Force Convergence (Self Released)

The 4th release from this thrash band. Now this band has a mix of a modern thrash sound, but inject a more old school thrash sound in the mix. I’d say around 80% old school and 20% a more groovy thrash sound. Sort of like Judas Priest “Painkiller” era, with a touch of Pantera, and throw in a ton of Exodus and you get a sample of what this band is. The singer is absolutely fantastic and he sings each tune with a ton of passion and feeling and I could feel it big time as this played on. He has a clear and powerful voice too. The guitar sound is the real sound out and the crunch is second to none and the I love the speedy double drum parts as well. Easily a winner here for sure. The album is streaming on YouTube at:

INDOCTRINATE/Antilogos: Arcane Transmutation in the Temple of Flesh (Unholy Prophecies)

Raw, brutal, fast as fuck black/death metal that hits hard and hits fast. Their sound is like the golden days of death metal when not a million bands were around. The drummer just pounds and smashes his drums into total submission and leaves that snare drum no mercy. The riffs are just plain evil and they are memorable too, which to me is something I need. Bring me something to the table. This band brought me a full meal. Think of bands like Blasphemy, Sarcofago, and the like. Vocals from the pits of hell my friends. A total, fantastic release. Take a trip back to the way it used to be.

INVINCIBLE FORCE/Decomposed Sacramentum (Dark Descent Records)

This sounds a lot like older Morbid Angel both music-wise and vocals. While this, of course, fast and brutal, I couldn’t really get into it. It wasn’t bad, but this was nothing special and it was like listening to an unreleased Morbid Angel record. Now somebody who wasn’t into the scene back in the ’80s or early ’90s would be doing backflips over this and would be loving life as this played on. For me, this is just something I kinda was like “yeah it’s nothing great”. For the Morbid Angel fan who loves the old stuff, then, by all means, check these guys out. Info:

OCCULT BURIAL/Burning Eerie Lore (Invictus Productions/Electric Assault Records/Stygian Black Hand)

Fuck yeah was all that went through my head as this played on and my headbanging away. This is classic heavy and power metal with mixes of speed metal thrown in the mix. Think Iron Angel and Exciter baby. Just fantastic, catchy as hell riffs with a Dan Beeler (Exciter)/Cronus (Venom) like singer and you got a release I could really sink my teeth into. That guitar sound just blows me away and the songs just flow like a perfect downstream river. This band play metal how it used to be with a ton of passion and feeling and you’re missing out big time if you decide not to check this band out. Sample track and label info below:

SARCATOR/S/T (Redefining Darkness Records)

Some old school thrashy, speedy stuff here. They kinda reminded me of Sodom at times and that was actually in the bio within the promo haha. I was really good, however, I was not a fan of the drum sound and that is why this isn’t great. It annoyed me and it takes this down a notch as this is some good old school thrash/speed metal. The band have that German thrash riffing sound ala Destruction and the speed and power on this is great. The singer has a good voice as well as his voice is strong and if the drums were better this would be a great release, but this is a good release, however. Info:

ARSEBREED/Butoh (Brutal Mind)

Oh, this is complete absolute garbage. A band trying to be Cannibal Corpse, but also throwing all this technical guitar riffing in the mix too. The drum sound I hated with all that trigger sound to it. The music is faceless and pointless and the drums are just the worst thing about this and the guitar player leads are a complete waste of his and my time. Nothing, repeat nothing on this is worth investing a second of your time. Info:

PROCLAMATIONAdvent of the Black Omen (Nuclear War Now! Productions/Ross Bay Cult)

This originally came out in 2006 and now is seeing a re-release along with 2 other releases by the band. This is raw, pounding, warlike black metal and I am just gonna review this one for now. While this is black metal done the right way, to me it just sounds like too many other bands I have heard doing this the past few years and it kinda bored me at times. This wasn’t anything to go bunkers over as it has a style that has been done over and over the past few years by many other bands. The music is mostly fast. Chainsaw pounding old school black metal with low black metal vocals that are sung decent and all, but what it boils down to is was a blown away, ah no. Good, but not great. Info

Label info: www.nwnprod.com

TYRANNO/March of Death (Helldprod Records)

Terrible band, we have here. They are sort of a wannabe bad Celtic Frost band with none of that band’s killer riffing and style. The songs are not catchy at all and speedy parts are a mess. The singer is terrible and the songs just lack big time and nothing on this is any good. This band needs to go back to the drawing board big time. Info:
Label info: www.helldprod.com

WRECK-DEVY/Powers That Be (Punishment 18 Records) 

Good, solid, old school sounding thrash with some good powerful vocals by the singer. Plenty of speed and power and some outstanding catchy riffs on this as well. This reminded me of Havok at times, who by the way I love. No nu metal crap or wanna be Pantera garbage as well. Production is nice and solid and that guitar crunch is right where I like it. Info:

PERDITION SECT/End Times (Seeing Red Records)

This band features Aaron Dallison, Matt Sorg, Kyle Severn and Mike Lare. They all began recording their stuff on their phones and soon after this album became reality! And what a fantastic album it is. This is just a total brutal display of punkish death metal and the label profile of using “classic Discharge”, but this is just so much more than that. Throw in plenty of death metal substance into the mix and you will have that and also mix in those punkish/death metal growls too. I simply am in love with the guitar sound on this and the production is “godly”. For this being a “side project” of sorts as well as 4 musicians not sure what to do with all this covid crap, I hope there is a follow-up release someday. Info:

IRON ANGEL/Emerald Eyes (Mighty Music) 

Ok, this band will never top “Hellish Crossfire”, but this new release is pretty damn good. The production also goes back in a more old school way and does not have that modern feel to it. The songs are thrashy, speedy numbers with some mid-paced stuff thrown in the mix. There is just pure good headbanging stuff and if you were a fan of the debut, I think you’ll like this. Singer Dirk Schröder does a fantastic job singing on this as his voice is just perfect and goes right along with the tunes. Thrash the way it should and is on this baby. Info:

DEMOLIZER/Thrashmageddon (Mighty Music) 

More fast, speedy thrash metal from this label and I wasn’t into this as much as Iron Angel or most of the thrash bands I have heard this year. First off, I was not a fan of the singer and his vocal delivery and I just wasn’t feeling it from him. I also didn’t like the standard “mosh parts” in some of the songs as well. I didn’t like the dual vocal stylings of the singer as well. Sort of like a not as good version of Municipal Waste. Info: