Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dead Carnations – Harmony Hell Decade

Dead Carnations is an Indonesian brutal death metal band that has been around for nearly nine years now. They formed back in 2006 and released their full-length debut Memories of Yesterday two years later. They released Start the Killing three years after that. However, I've only been able to find their latest album, Harmony Hell Decade.

The music is pretty sweet. The drummer is Leohardy Hermawan. He plays a lot of rampaging blast beats. What I really love is that the snare doesn't have that annoying pinging sound that so many other Indonesian brutal death metal bands seem to have. It sounds really professional here. He also performs some mid-paced rhythms that feature rapid double bass. Sure, the double bass has a clicking sound, but they still amplify the brutality of the album. The bass is played by Luky Akbar. He mainly follows the guitars, but there are moments where he plays some greats standalone riffs, such as those on “Luka Duka Pesta”.

The best part of this album is guitarist Eka Prasasty. He plays a lot of fiery shredding riffs that are rather elaborate in structure. He sometimes play some diabolical tremolo riffs as well as some deranged noodling. Luckily, the noodling doesn't sound annoying. He also plays some strong chugging riffs. He then tops things off with some amazing solos. Some of them are inspired by traditional death metal, while others have a more thrashing vibe to them, such as the one played on the halfway point of “You Will Lose”. It reminds me of Nevermore.

The only part of this album I didn't like was the vocal performance of Ozzi Jazta. They consist of an angry scream that sounds more suited to grindcore. However, they were still performed well. Overall, this album was an amazing technical display. It's the product of nearly a decade of experience.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stench Of Necropsy – Accepting The Horrible

Stench Of Necropsy was an obscure brutal death/grind band from the island country of Malta. They formed in 1997, released a single demo called Accepting The Horrible in 2000, then broke up sometime later. They also released a split with Drain of Impurity, but I can't find that anywhere. Then again, I don't want to find it because these guys suck ass.

I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll start with the drums. That's where I always start. I don't know who all was in this band. I get the impression it was a one-man band based on what little information I found. The only good thing I can say about the drums is that they don't sound like they've been programmed. The performance is boringly simplistic, sometimes sloppy, the snare has no impact, the double bass sounds like a soft tapping, and the constant rattling of the cymbals sounds annoying as all hell.

The vocals are diverse, but they're also shit. The primary vocal style is a gruff growl. It's boring. They also perform a scream that sounds reminiscent of Carcass. It's annoying. The final vocal style is a pitch-shifted growl. It sounds like a backed up toilet. As for the guitars, they're just fucking dull. They just play a bunch of simplistic grinding riffs that sometimes change in tempo. They sound pitifully weak and they feature no variety. Actually, I take that back. They sometimes play a few lousy chugs, but that's pretty much it.

I know most one-man death/grind bands are shit, but this is especially shitty. No originality, no effort, no talent. Just shit.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Homophobic Fecalpheliac – Suffocating Through Intestinal Constriction

This band is called Homophobic Fecalpheliac. That's a name that's bound to rustle some jimmies. You see, even though metal is all about pissing people off and pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in society, most metal journalists are social justice warriors who get offended over the dumbest shit. If I were a social justice metal journalist, I'd prattle on and on about the band members should be ashamed of themselves for using the word homophobic in their name. Since I'm not a social justice crybaby, I'm going to tell you about how awesome this band is.

These guys play slam. Wicked slam. The drums are programmed, but they sound remarkably realistic. They play a bunch of slow, plodding rhythms that seek to stomp your shit in. They also play some simple, rampaging blast beats on occasion as well as some rapid drilling double bass. The bass mainly follows the guitars, but they're really thick and make the music sound heavy and diabolical.

The vocals mainly consist of sick inhaled growls. Some people might complain that these growls sound too much like pig squeals, but I think they sound just fine. If you ask me, the vocal performance will offend more people than the band's name. Best of all are the guitars. They play a bunch of simple stomping riffs that have a heavy, crunchy tone. They slam until the cows come home. The biggest surprise was the solo on “Fecal Disfigurement”. You hardly ever hear solos in slam, so I was delighted to hear one on this EP.

Perhaps the main reason why I like Homophobic Fecalpheliac so much is because they know what metal's really about. They know that metal's goal is to piss people off and push the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in society, and these guys are definitely pushing those boundaries.

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Touhou Tuesday #159

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Divination (US, NY) – Inner Evil

Divination was an obscure death metal band from New York. They're so obscure I can't really find any information about them. I don't even know when they formed. All I know is that they released only one demo called Inner Evil in 1993 before splitting up. I can't even find the cover for this demo. Then again, I'm not gonna bother searching for the cover because this demo is fucking boring.

Take your average 90s death metal band. Now suck all the fun and excitement out of them. That is what Divination sounds like. The drums play mid-paced rhythms, blast beats, and d-beats, and they all have the impact of a wet sponge. The snare sounds like a dull thud and the double bass sounds like an obnoxious clicking. How the fuck do you make death metal drums sound dull and lifeless? Not even the fills can keep the performance from being sleep-inducing. I swear, this guy is as bad as Tim Yeung. Okay, maybe not that bad.

The vocals consist of stereotypical “brutal” growls. They're laughably bad and painfully unoriginal. This guy tries to sound like Chris Barnes and ends up sounding like a cheap parody. As for the guitars, they play a bunch of “brutal” riffs. In other words, they play a bunch of braindead chugs and sloppy shredding riffs. They try to sound menacing, but as with the drums, they come off sounding weak and uninteresting. They do play some nice solos, but that alone is not enough to redeem this boring pile of dog shit.

This demo was fucking boring. It's so boring I can't even figure out how to properly end this review, so here are some 2hus acting cute.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Eternal Blaze – Ha-Mut

Eternal Blaze was a short-lived black metal band from Brazil. They only lasted about two years. They formed in 1996, released a single two-song demo called Ha-Mut in 1998, then broke up shortly thereafter. Is it any good? Eh, not really.

You know how I complain about obscure metal demos having shitty, indecipherable production? Well, this demo has the opposite problem. The production is way too clean. The lo-fi production is what makes black metal sound so menacing. Without it, the music sounds weak and non-threatening. Hell, the music would sound weak even if it had lo-fi production. The drums just play a bunch of dull slow and mid-paced rhythms. They don't try to do anything exciting aside from a few bland fills that show up on occasion.

The vocals consist of an obnoxious scream. There's no real direction to the guy's performance. He just seems to scream randomly. The only person who seems to give a shit is the guitarist. He starts off the demo with some pretty sweet acoustic guitars before transitioning into some rather nice chords. These chords have a nice bit of melody to them, which is something you rarely see in black metal, but again, without the lo-fi production, they feel weak and ineffectual. He also plays a few chugs, but they too sound pitiful.

Overall, the production is lame and the music is lame. Don't waste your time on it.
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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Axis of Light – L'appel du vide

The agents of aural terror have returned. I reviewed Axis of Light's first EP, By the Hands of the Consuming Fire, way back at the beginning of 2013. I was blown away by how violent it was. I then had to wait two whole years before they released anything new. Now Axis of Light have assaulted us with another wave of sonic evil called L'appel du vide.

First of all, the production is utterly brutal. It's distorted as fuck. Not quite as distorted as The Haunted House by Pyha, but it's still extremely distorted. Mr. Origin performs all the instruments. The drums primarily consist of raging, minimalistic blast beats and straightforward mid-paced rhythms. They're not exactly doing anything new, but they still put on an awesome performance.

Axiom's vocals are just as anguished as ever. He performs a bunch of deranged screams that will send a chill down your spine. As for the guitars, they sound quite punkish in nature. They perform a lot of simple mid-paced riffs as well as some diabolical and destructive tremolo riffs. As with the first EP, they also include moments that feature a great deal of melody, especially on the last song. They serve as a perfect juxtaposition to the distorted chaos.

This demo might be short but it leaves a massive impact. It's extremely distorted and extremely violent, but it also features moments of melody. Truly Axis of Light is one of the finest black metal bands to ever emerge from the underground in the past several years.
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Kamo Gryadeshi – В божественных руках

Kamo Gryadeshi was a black metal band from Ukraine. They lasted only four years and released only one demo called В божественных руках in 1999 before splitting up.

The only good songs on this demo are the intro and outro. They consist of synth work that reminds me of SNES RPGs. Everything else is shit. First of all, the production is way too clean for black metal. Personally, I like my black metal distorted and abrasive. Second, the music is dreadfully uninspired. The drums are programmed, and they're as annoying as you'd expect. They just perform a bunch of weak blast beats and mid-paced rhythms that feature a bunch of clicking double bass. Oh, and the performance sounds painfully mechanical.

The vocals are diverse. Unfortunately, they suck. First there's the dull and unoriginal rasping vocals. They do nothing to excite me. Then there are the growls. They feel forced and out of place. Finally there's the clean vocals. They're low in pitch and they sound utterly ridiculous. Dude, you are not Temnozor. As for the guitars, they sound nice, but they're not original in the slightest. Some of the riffs have a bit of melody to them, but they have this bad tendency of just dragging on and on.

Overall, this demo was boring and unoriginal, save for the first and last songs. These guys would have been better off recording dungeon synth.
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Haram – Disgrace Satanic Brain

Haram is the arabic word for “sinful”. It is also the name of an Indonesian brutal death metal band. They come from Malang and they released their full-length debut, Disgrace Satanic Brain, last year. When I first listened to it, I thought I was going to be like this:

Instead, I was more like this:

The production is kinda muffled, but I can still hear everything just fine. As for the music itself, it's spectacularly brutal. I expect nothing less from the Indonesians at this point. Drummer Azzanul Andriyanto plays a shitload of rampaging blast beats. Whereas most Indonesian brutal death metal bands have this annoying pinging snare, Haram's snare sounds more like Azzanul's using the slutty ass of a succubus as a taiko drum. Sure, it's not the best, but it's a lot better than what I've heard in the past. He also plays a lot of mid-paced rhythms that feature rapid double bass. Can't go wrong with that formula.

Vocalist Erik Rizaldi performs growls that are deep and bellowing. They sound great, but unfortunately, I can barely hear them. They should have fixed that problem in post. The guitars are played by Fannie Oktantyo. He plays a lot of mid-paced riffs that feature a crunchy tone. Sometimes he plays tremolo riffs that feature a great deal of groove. Other times he plays some powerful slams. There are even times when he gets a bit technical. What I really love is the guest performance by Labium Minora guitarist Khairil Anam on “Persinggahan Iblis”. He performs a lot of noodling that reminds me of Orestes. By the way, that reminds me: I really need to review Labium Minora sometime.

This album was pretty sweet. Sure, the production could have been better, but the music is absolutely brutal. Although their name is Haram, their performance is halal.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Enigmatic – The Tranquilled Icy Water

In 1993, Swedish doom/death band Enigmatic released their first EP Two Days Of April. It was pretty good. Three years later, they released their only other EP The Tranquilled Icy Water. (By the way, “tranquilled” isn't a real word. At least, my word processor doesn't think it is.) Does it hold up to their first EP? Eh, not really.

The production is a lot better, but the music doesn't sound as heavy. The biggest problem is with the vocals. On the first EP they consisted of a hoarse growl. On this EP they consist of gruff low-pitched singing with a thick Swedish accent. I really don't like them. They sound corny as fuck. At least the rest of the music manages to sound decent. The drums still play mid-paced rhythms that occasionally feature rapid double bass. What I like about the performance here is that the double bass no longer has that annoying clicking sound.

Sometimes these guys throw in some keyboards. Personally, I think this EP would have been better without them. When it comes to the guitars, they spend a lot more time playing simple rocking riffs, a big departure from their previous EP. Not only that, but the guitars no longer have that sweet crunchy sound. They still play some slow chugging riffs, but they no longer have the impact they used to have. They do nothing for me.

Overall, the music is decent, but it just doesn't sound heavy. I especially hated the vocals. Such a disappointment.
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