DEFEATED SANITY (Ger): “Psalms of the Moribund” Lp Cd 2007 Grindethic

I am not an incredible fan of cold, mathematical, technical brutal Death Metal – American style. But when it is played properly, it is able to raise so much intensity and thickness you really cannot get with other forms of standard Hard Core and Metal. Defeated Sanity‘s sophomore “Psalms of the Moribund” delivers hard and efficiently, an incredibly thick carpet of frighteningly intricate guitar work, guttural stone-grating vocals and hyperblasting drums. I think I even saw them live once but for some reason I completely overlooked them. It might be since this is not the kind of bands I like to see in an open air gig where the sound is dispersed in the ether.

The sound on “Psalms” is deep, bass heavy and suffocating, the kind of sound that coupled with non stop constant blasting and curving leaves no breathing space whatsoever. The production as said before is rather sludgy and mucky, but to me it fits finely, it almost as you can see the meatcleaver chop and hack and truncate chinks of flesh from a cadaver. Not a total swamp like in Enmity, but almost. The riffing is impressive, you got an half gazillion leaks, harmonics and squeaks in the middle of all this fucking calculated chaos. I cannot but recommend this shit for all those into hyper-intense Brutal Death where skill and musical ability is at the service of intricacy without bending to the necessity of making the sound softer. There are just 3 or 4 wigger slam riffs a la Devourment in the whole Cd, all the rest is non stop barbarity. Very, very good.

The cover artwork looks real good, however I got this promo on a shitty Cd-ROM with xeroxed cover, I cannot give an opinion of the packaging or the lyrics. I hope one day labels will realize having some promotion on a webzine might be worth sending a 2 dollars Cd instead than a 2 dollar Cd-ROM.

RAICES TORCIDAS (Slv): “Digital Metal Flesh” Lp Cd 2007 American Line

100892.jpgEven admitting that science fiction is not my favorite metal topic (it wasn’t even with Nocturnus or Hawkwind), I must say this Cd comes in a surprisingly deluxe format. Sci-fi is a strong concept here: futuristic post apocalyptic machine wars a la The Terminator appera on lyrics, cover, layout and all. The package contains a double disc that includes a DVD containing a detailed footage on the recording of the album. A huge folding digipack with thick glossy booklet and slick digital art: things have been done seriously here, with tons of computer graphics and a very accurate layout. I still prefer black and white, but things here have been done quite well. I just plainly don’t like computer graphics, be it Lust of Decay or Putrid Pile.

I had to make some research on the band, whose name I never heard of before. Raices Torcidas is from El Salvador, and comprises some members that also swapped lines with Kabak as well (great band – this one I knew!). I was surprised to read that this is their THIRD full-length, I must be very ignorant on the El Salvador metal scene.

I was pretty afraid that with all this advanced technological stuff all over and the terrible opening aggro riff I was in for some Fear Factory-like modern metal monstrosity. Well, I was quite wrong. Their sound is not sick or grisly but they play pretty good, decent Brutal Death anyway, with an excellent if uneven production, swine vocals, distorted guitar and all the rest. This band sounds pro and powerful, with tons of those tremolo riffing so dear to late Cannibal Corpse, Putrilage and Enthrallment. I liked much their multi-layered vocal approach, even though in the end we’re not listening to anything impossibly brutal or memorable. Good and honest Brooootal Death Metal of new generation but played with passion. Good and very focused in the end. Something to appreciate.

But I still prefer gore.

BLACK THE SKY (USA-Il): “Simplistic Mechanics Of Deformable Bodies” MCd 2007 Epitomite

Black The Sky - Simplistic Mechanics Of Deformable BodiesI am not sure I will be able to explain the reason why I didn’t like this Ep, but my problem is that I really cannot find any interesting elements in here and I cannot explain why. It might just be that each one of these tracks is quite forgettable. Black The Sky is the new band of ex-Lividity drummer Mr. James Whitehurst. And it just plain sounds as if the band was founded somewhere in 1998 or ’99. Last millennium’s end was an year or limbo for Death Metal, slightly before the Internet became popular and the revival of old school Metal begun taking ground. It was the time when bands contemporary to Umbilical Strangulation, Prophecy, Fleshgrind and a score of other similar ones were releasing a huge quantity of really uninteresting demos and albums. A formless breed of a new guttural Death Metal scene which looking hindsight, was appallingly plain (with some exceptions, some bands were actually quite interesting and survived to this day, see Necrotic Disgorgement).  This Black The Sky‘s Ep has a rather good production but other than this – it is terribly flat. This band plays a contaminated form of late nineties American Death Metal and late hour Hard Core with a particular eye towards slow crunches and power metal chugs but also adorned with a form of pervasive new-school HC melody a la Integrity. The vocals are mid-deep and sometimes have higher peaks, but I cannot count really powerful riffs to make my day or even one memorable track. The worse thing is that the vocals just follow the flow of the muted palm riffs and this a scheme that just sound so dreadfully green, not to mention the riffs seem to be cut and paste without a real concept behind. It goes fast now, slow then, repeat twice… not my cup of tea. The voice in the intro that says “Time To Play” is also identical to the one used in Broken Hope‘s “Loathing” album…  I guess it’s from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Hm.  I cannot say it’s a bad album becouse in the end there are good ideas and no clear weak spots, but I am afraid the problem is structural. Professional cover art and excellent work of graphics for the booklet and packaging, although I am not particularly enthusiastic about abstract subjects.

DYING (Esp): “Promo 2006 – Ill Intentions For A Bloody Supper” Cd-r 2006 s/p [demo]

Dying - Ill Intentions for a Bloody Supper

This 2 track demo Cd-r by the band Dying from Spain made me recognize one thing: solos are back in Death Metal. Like it or not, after an almost 10-year gap they’re finally back. Sure we had some Nile, Angelcorpse or Krisiun but here we’re talking about classic, unripe solos popping into demo tracks, not seasoned professionals strutting their stuff. They are again part of the genre since the beginning.

Talking about music, this is not exactly my kind of Death Metal (it’s the brutal-and-technical American style Death Metal with guttural vocals and chugs kind) but it’s not a totally slapdash attempt at playing Brutal Death stuff either. The recipe is the same used for a lot of other newer bands: lots of heavy NY slam with beefy riffs, growling vocals plus a daring dose of slightly wrecked solos – yet the elements are arranged and put together with some wisdom. The vocals are quite deep, the drumming technical and precise and there is not a tarantella I could detect in the mix which is a difficult thing to avoid today. I cannot think of precise comparisons at the moment, maybe some Deeds of Flesh or Dislimb when it gets faster but the slower parts are closer to classic NY sound a la Internal Bleeding. I admit I found several nice parts in the sound, especially when the music gets sluggish and grinding. Nothing incredible but neither entirely average, surely worth checking out.

It’s a bit surprising to realize that the cover used in this demo is professionally printed, as this work is well beyond all parameters of typography, all the images are very jagged. Tsk. But in the end it’s just a demo so what the fuck. No lyrics included, as it’s typical these days.

INTERNAL BLEEDING (USA-Ny): “Onward To Mecca” Cd 2004 Olympic

Internal Bleeding - Onward to MeccaFirst of all, the title of the album and the cover art are fabolous. I totally share their view. My balls are quite full of this racist scum terrorizing the world. And even more I am full of hearing that the Western Word is the only responsible for their behaviour. Hundreds of years of civilization and all they produced is superstition and kilometers of barren desert wastelands. These shits have to be eradicated from the world, and if the H-bomb that is meant to do that has the colors of blue red and white, so be it. But let’s not digress, Nuclear Abominations is not a political webzine. It is about gore, deformities and sickness. Fuck.

The layout and graphics are not stellar for a label like Olympic but the job is well done and amateur errors are missing altogether this time. I don’t like the choice of colors and the yellow glow/embossing on the logo but that’s how it is today.

Hearing Internal Bleeding without Chris Pervelis is indeed very strange, but I admit the riffs are still solid, chugging, 100% NY slam. I wonder how much of Chris did flow through the recording this album – except for the acknowledged part at the end of “This Day I Fight”.  What’s undeniable is that the musicwriting here is one score better than anything I heard on Entorturement or 420 – both band were maybe too unripe at the time they were releasing their demos. Who knows, point is, this album takes everything these guys recorded before by the balls and shake. One should not forget that Internal Bleeding is over 15 years old, and it was one of the very first bands to start the NY style slam shit. So don’t annoy me with shit like “unoriginality”. A bit of guilt maybe they have, since this is a genre which is extremely dangerous to play, the line between a solid mosh indicung massive riff and a tarantella is blurry. Lots of young bands are now playing very, very boring monkey-core-metal trying to follow these steps. But Internal Bleeding always did it quite well, and despite some recording difficulties, I did like early Internal Bleeding as well. Expecially with Frank Rini on vocals (someone told me he’s a policeman today. Ah.). And still today they are able to crush bones.

“Onward to Mecca”, as said before, is still focused blindfoldly on the single rock solid stop and go riff, with huge guitar sound and shit. And I cannot really tell any weak points. This record is steeled in an armor of brutal chugs and boulder heavy chords. The music flows well and sometimes Pyrexia (more) or Dying Fetus (less) really spring to mind, and I think the vocals are the only slightly weaker spot. I think hard-core screams can be an extremely powerful weapon, if the tone is right, but these vocals seem more agony moans than pissed off spews. The recording, for the first time ever, sounds real powerful and beefy, it was really time we could hear this band with its rightful sound.

For fans of NY slam chugs blam blam metal I think this album stands well on top of your shopping list. Good shite. “It’s time to pay, it’s time to die. This is The American Fury”.

DEICIDE (USA-Fl): “The Stench of Redemption” Cd 2006 Earache

If General Surgery‘s debut was an event to ponder, Deicide‘s eigth studio album is such even more. The main thought that fell into me as I was listening to this album, and believe me I have listened to it many times now, is that that this guy with paige cut hair is really getting old. Don’t misunderstand me this album is stuill full of energy and violence, but for a start, it’s becoming always less Deicide and always more traditional Metal plus some Deicide touches. I read an interview with Benton who was talking about how Elvis was cool when he saw him live, and guess whose band is being covered in an alternative edition of this album? Deep Purple!!! Fuck!! Deep Purple!!! The mummies, the walking corpses, who the fuck is caring for that acid trip shit nowadays? When are Deicide going to pay homage to the fucking Beatles? Apart from this, the guy is getting bald and fat, shot a video of him riding a motorcycle (ah ah ah, yeah, just like that Manowar video!), and released an album like this, so chock full of Malmsteen-like solos I was about to vomit. Honestly, were the Hoffman brother THAT important in the making of the songs? I guess we’ll know only when they’ll be forming a new band (and I read they are). Now that I said all the obnoxious things about this album, it’s time for me to tell you that aside for all that bullshit, this album is definitely good. You have to work a bit on CoolEdit or a similar audio editing program to CUT OFF all the solos, because they’re really unbearable, but once you delete them permanently from the mix (please Earache, once it’s time for a re-edition, release an alternative version of this album without that guitar shit), you get solid, powerful and fast rhytmic riffs, with Steve’s trademark super double bass carpeting the whole album. It is always delicious to hear how Deicide still manages to write power riffs that mainitain the crush even when arranged in such fast tempos. Glen’s vocals are still deep and cavernous, avan if without that histerical, possessed timbre of the first two albums. I won’t say again, that they got back the genius of “Legion”, but for sure this is not the ton of smoking shit that was “Once Upon the Cross” either (not to mention the following non-existing albums). We follow the lines of “Scars of the Crucifix” now, as this album is still one hundred percent super tightly fastened Death Metal with Deicide’s trademark backing screams. However I have also to say they lost some of their trademark sound, which has evolved a bit towards more traditional solutions. I was tempted to give this album a 9-score rating, but the solos in here are so horrendous and superfluous that I should give the whole album a five minus (listen that ridicolous wanking in song 4! What’s that , The Toy Dolls?). Whatever the case, I personally suggest to skip the solos manually with the fast forward button and try to savor the rest. There is a lot of solid guitarwork here, without the classic “Legion” overlays but quite interesting nonetheless. And the cover artwork looks superb, especially compred to the cover of “Serpents of the Light” (ah ah what a joke that one!), it reeks of brimstone!

BLASPHEMER (Ita): “s/t” split Cd with ESKATON (Pol), MODUS DELICTI (Ita) 2006 Frost Foundation

Well first off the cover artwork is almost indeciphrable. It’s so dark you mostly see shades here. However after some tweaking with curves in Photoshop I managed to see what’s lying beneath and hey, this is a cool artwork indeed, looks like some abstract bio-mechanical work of worms and bloated flesh, reminds me of some Aaron Cain works! Someone has to be executed for concealing this work under layers of darkness. Blasphemer plays a modern breed of Brutal Death Metal of the fastest kind with non stop multi faceted riffing and a ton of guitar harmonics and chuggish breakdowns which well, just scream the words Deeds of Flesh aloud in my ears! The drummer is razor sharp in his work, competent and with concrete awareness of his surroundings: he has the uncommon quality of being able to work along the other instruments, placing evidence to the few slams by battering the snare drums so to give emphasis to the multitude of breaks you get along the songs. I don’t mind for the few screams which in my opinion are always useless, but the vocals are deep and guttural and they work fine for the overall job as well. You get killer Brutal Death without melodies or solos, recorded almost flawlessly as well. Might it be that it suffers a bit from being somewhat derivative but I never thought of that as an issue. I think this stuff is meant to be fun to play and hear, not for some challenge to being original.