August 2017, New Releases Review

We may still be technically in Summer, but this does not stop us from reviewing some of the best Death/Black Metal releases that came in our hands this month. Sit back, put on your sunscreen, grab your cocktails and enjoy…

Headcrusher - Death Comes with Silence

The only peaceful moment in this album is the Intro, after which track Seismal (what a perfectly matching title) commences leaving to the listener no chance of escaping Headcrusher’s assault. Death Comes with Silence, is an album that contains no melodies and no modernisms whatsoever - only 33 minutes of brutal and relentless Death/Thrash with some (always welcomed) Hardcore influences (there are some great beatdown moments providing -at least to me- one more reason to love them). Headcrusher come from Texas and show how great records are done.

Album Rating : 9 out of 10

Zaum - Eidolon

Released in 2016, Eidolon contains 2 songs with each of them having a duration of 21 minutes (exactly). The main reference (I would intentionally not use the word influence here) for Zaum’s doom is Om, however they have developed and maintain their own identity. Zaum’s Doom metal is experimental, slow (of course), atmospheric, ritualistic and is out there waiting to be discovered and appreciated.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

King Leviathan - Paean Heretica

Blackened Thrash is what King Leviathan play, however the alteration of clean and growling vocals in combination with the epic metal guitar riffs provide a Progressive/Power Metal character to the compositions of Paen Heretica. If there is one album that comes to my mind as a reference, is Satan’s Host’s By The Hands of the Devil (which happens to be one of my favourite records) therefore I would easily give

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

Mordatorium - Obsessed with Death

Even though they come from Chicago, Mordatorium play a Swedish style Death Metal which is hard, old school, honest and definitely does not sound fake or prefabricated. What Obsessed with Death gains in style and attitude though, it lacks in creativity and originality so

Album Rating : 7.5 out of 10

Hellgoat - Blasphemy from Serpent Tongues

This is a vinyl reissue of a 2005 CD only release. Blasphemy from Serpent Tongues is 29 minutes of primitive, uncompromised and hateful Black Metal. Intentionally “Bad” production and lack of melodies make it not an album for the average Dimmu Borgir fan, however if you once loved Cut Yourflesh and Worship Satan by Antaeus, give Hellgoat a chance

Album Rating : 7.5 out of 10

Ampütator - Deathcult Barbaric Hell

Similar case as before (a vinyl reissue of a 2007 CD only release), Ampütator’s Black Metal is equally primitive and militant in its character however their better riffs and their Thrash approach make me place them one step (and half a point) higher than Hellgoat.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Undergang - Misantropologi

According to the press release, Undergang are Filthy, Disgusting, Heavy-as-fuck, Down tuned, Rotten and Foul stenched. I would summarise these characterisations just by saying that Undergang are the bastard offsprings of Carcass (Reek of Putrefaction era of course). The Danish group delivers 28 minutes of filthy, sludgy, old school Death Metal with interesting (even though) primitive riffs and low volume vocals reminding of an era where Death metal was still hideous and not the flavour of the week.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Prezir - Contempt

The EP starts with a 2 minute melodic intro and a narration about a sinister story, providing clearly the stigma of the anti-religious direction of the album. Prezir’s Black Metal is old school and carries influences from Speed and Thrash Metal reminding the approach of Greek bands like Varathron and Thou Art Lord.

Album Rating : 8 out of 10

Soul Remnants - Ouroboros

Soul Remnants’ third release Ouroboros, is a concept album which revolves around a futuristic, dystopic war amongst all mankind and no matter how ambitious something like that may sound, it is still risky to combine things like Death Metal and concept albums. But Soul Remnants have definitely won the bet. Ouroboros is Death metal with a lot of Thrash influences and somehow brings to my mind the way that Sepultura combined Death with Thrash in Beneath the Remains. What the album for sure does not lack is variety. From old school Metallica-stylemelodic riffs to pure Black Metal, like in Dissolving into Obscurity which is the albums best song. Soul Remnants managed to compose songs which have good structures and an epic nature thus giving to the album a pluralism and a narrative flow. Well done guys !

Album Rating : 8.5 out of 10

Occasvs - Nocturnal Majestic Mysteria

With an album title self explanatory as this, the possibilities to listen to punk are zero. Occasvs come from Chile and play majestic black metal. The album begins with a wonderful 9 minute symphonic intro and then continues with songs that are characterised by fast, epic riffs, operatic vocals (which are not really my cup of tea) and songs which are mostly above 6 minutes (exception is the interlude Psychic Burial). Nocturnal Majestic Mysteria is not groundbreaking but has all the correct elements in place in order to be a good choice for fans of the genre. Personally, I am not a fan of this style but I cannot ignore it or downgrade it. Therefore

Album Rating : 8 out of 10