Monday, September 1, 2014

Hate Forest – The Most Ancient Ones

Hate Forest is one of the most legendary black metal bands to ever emerge from Ukraine. It was formed by this scary bald motherfucker named Roman Saenko and his best friend Thurios in 1995. After releasing two demos and an EP, the band released their full-length debut, The Most Ancient Ones, in September 2001. To be honest, I'm not all that familiar with Hate Forest. I think I listened to them way back when I was a teenager, but then I forgot about them. I was young and I didn't have the attention span to fully appreciate them. Many years later, I decided to listen to them again, and I must say, these guys are amazing.

First of all, the production is dark and cloudy. The album sounds like it was recorded onto old Soviet-era equipment. The end result is something that sounds foreboding and supernatural. As for the music itself, it sounds utterly diabolical. The drums are programmed, which means they're only capable of simple blast beats and rhythms. However, that's really all the band needs. The drum machine blasts away tirelessly through the blinding fog. The cymbals sound like the tapping of ghostly nails. The kick drums sound like rattling chains.

Unlike most other black metal bands, the bass is quite prominent here. They plod alongside the guitars and create this thick, nauseating miasma that makes you feel like you're in some forgotten swamp where no life dwells. As for the guitars, they play an endless torrent of tremolo riffs that express both anger and despair. They utilize repetition, cloudy distortion, and copious amounts of reverb to create an atmosphere that entraps you and forces your head into the swamp's sorrowful waters.

Best of all are the vocals. Thurios performs some great angry rasps, but the real star of the show is Roman Saenko. He utilizes a vocal technique that is rarely seen in black metal: growling. Roman is a death metal vocalist yet he chooses to play black metal. Not only is he a creative genius, but he's an awesome performer. His growls are deep and bellowing. They sound almost akin to a monstrous roar. Roman is the monster that lurks at the bottom of this sorrowful swamp. He consumes not only flesh, but also souls.

The Most Ancient Ones is one of the strongest debuts for any black metal band ever. I can understand why so many people love these guys. The production is wonderfully atmospheric, the instrumental performance is top-notch, and the vocals are utterly incredible. I'm itching to hear what their other albums have in store for me.
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Acrania – Totalitarian Dystopia

I've been following Acrania since the day they released their split with Blue Waffle back in September 2012. I was instantly hooked to their groove-filled slams. In January 2013, they released their first EP, The Beginning of the End, and I was utterly amazed by what they had to offer. At that point I was like a cock-craving buttslut begging for more. But then the band fell silent. A year and a half went by. People were growing impatient. We then learned that the band signed to Unique Leader Records. That was nice and all but people still demanded they release their full-length debut already. Their wishes eventually came true in the form of Totalitarian Dystopia.
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pyaemia – Cerebral Cereal

Pyaemia was a brutal death metal from The Netherlands. They formed in 1995, got signed to Unique Leader Records, and released their only full-length album, the delightfully named Cerebral Cereal, in 2001. They broke up four years later. It's unfortunate that their career was so short-lived because this album is fucking brutal.

The album has that classic dark and gritty production that sounds similar to the early works of Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh. It sounds like it crawled out of some fetid crevasse that is filled with rotting gore. The music also sounds similar to the two bands I just mentioned. The bass work of Frank Stijnen is not only really high in the mix, but also really complex. He plucks at his strings with menace and fury. I especially like his performance on songs like “Impaled On Stakes” and “Malodorous Rancidity”. The drums played by Robbert Vrijenhoek offer up a lot of savage blast beats and mid-paced rhythms that feature jackhammer double bass as well as plenty of complex rolls and fills.

Vocalist Joel Sta's performance consist of a deep growl that reminds me of Erik Lindmark. It's not that original, but the performance is still great. The guitars are performed by Anton De Wit, and he plays lots of dark shredding riffs that sound heavily inspired by the likes of Deeds of Flesh. They sound both vicious and technical. Like the vocals, these riffs aren't all that original, but I still enjoy the performance. He also plays a few riffs that harken back to early 90s death metal bands like Deicide. He even plays a few pinch harmonics on occasion.

Overall, this was a great brutal death metal album that sounds quite similar to Deeds of Flesh. It's dark, vicious, and somewhat technical. Once in a while, word will spread around that these guys will reform. You might as well just give up hope now. The band has been dead for almost a decade and it shows no sign of coming back to life. You should just be happy with what you got.
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Putridity – Degenerating Anthropophagical Euphoria

One day I was deleting all the shit in my brutal death metal folder that was too boring to review. I eventually came upon Putridity. They're an Italian band that has so far released two full-length albums, their latest one being 2011's Degenerating Anthropophagical Euphoria. I expected it to suck, but I was pleased to discover that this album was motherfucking brutal.

Whereas most other Italian brutal death metal bands go the technical route, Putridity follows the bloody path of Brodequin. It's non-stop skull-crushing brutality. The drums are performed by Davide Billia. I recognize him from Xenomorphic Contamination. He goes by the nickname “Brutal Dave”. Quite an appropriate nickname, if you ask me. On this album, Davide channels Chad Walls by playing a relentless bombardment of raging blast beats that feature a pulverizing snare sound. He also plays a few mid-paced rhythms that feature jackhammer double bass. The bass is played by Alessandro Cravero. His performance is really prominent in the mix. He helps give the music a thick and meaty sound. He even performs a few short solos on occasion.

The vocals are performed by former Gorefuck and Corpsefucking Art member Paolo Chiti. He belts out these guttural growls that again remind me of the legendary Brodequin. He's an absolute beast. There are even times when he gurgles like a backed-up septic tank. This helps make the music sound even more brutal and vile. As for the guitars, they're performed by Andrea Aimone. He lets loose a raging torrent of dark shredding riffs as well as some diabolical chugs. He also throws in a bunch of crazy pinch harmonics that remind me of Cenotaph.

Although this album is incredibly short, it's incredibly brutal. Some people say this album is shit. I don't care what they think. I like it. If you're a fan of utter brutality in the vein of Brodequin, then be sure to listen to this album.
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Terapi Urine – Kehiduvan Yang Vhana Ini (Lite Version)

I've listened to metal for over a decade now, and I've noticed that the metal scene takes itself way too fucking seriously. Terapi Urine knows this as well, so they responded to it by offering up a massive helping of humor. I remember covering these guys over a year ago, and I loved their deranged grindcore. Later that year, they released an album called Kehiduvan Yang Vhana Ini. I only have the lite version because I can't find the full version. Of course, that doesn't really matter because this little EP is great.

First of all, the production has a rich and full sound. You hardly ever hear that kind of production in metal nowadays. It harkens back to the old days of grindcore. The music also screams old school. The bass is really high in the mix and plods along with rumbling fury. The drums play those minimalistic blast beats and punkish rhythms that formed the backbone of old school grindcore. They hit hard and they're played well.

The vocals consist of a gruff growl that reminds me of early Napalm Death and a manic scream that reminds me of bands like Nasum. They sound really angry, but given the nature of the band, he's probably singing about some silly shit. It's all in Indonesian, so the humor is lost on me. If anyone can translate what he's saying, that would be great. As for the guitars, they play a lot of simple punkish riffs that have a thick and crunchy sound. They also play a few savage shredding riffs. Again, it's pure old school goodness.

Terapi Urine is one of those rare bands that perfectly combines humor with good music. Judging by the cover art, you'd expect the music to be retarded, but what you get instead is some awesome old school grindcore. Those talentless hacks over at iwrestledabearonce can pack their shit and leave. Terapi Urine is where the real humorcore is at!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Infested Blood – Demonweb Pits

Infested Blood is a brutal death metal band from Brazil that has been around for quite a while. They formed back in 1999 and have so far released four full-length albums, their latest one being 2013's Demonweb Pits. I was immediately drawn to it by the awesome Jon Zig cover art. Will the music be just as awesome? Let's find out.

These guys combine the utter brutality of Krisiun with the technical flair of the American brutal death metal scene. However, the music also seems to have this grand and bombastic feel to it. It certainly matches up with the orchestral samples they like to use. Drummer Beto Santos plays a massive amount of rampaging blast beats. The Brazilians are renowned for their awesome blast beats and Infested Blood is no exception. He also plays plenty of mid-paced rhythms that feature mind-blowingly fast double bass. Best of all is his performance on the song “Summoning The Arachnid Demons”. That song is almost two minutes worth of terrifying percussive fury.

The bass mainly follows the guitars, but there are moments where it shows off its skills, such as on “The Blood Wars”. As for the guitars themselves, they play a lot of diabolical tremolo riffs that are complemented by American-style technical flair. These riffs sound really brutal and often pay homage to Krisiun, but there are moments when they sound strangely melodic. This is especially notable on songs like “The Hunters Blade”. You usually don't hear any melody in brutal death metal, aside from a few Indonesian bands. I'm glad they throw in that extra bit of variety.

My only problem with this album is Diego Araújo's vocal performance. First of all, his vocals are too high in the mix. Second, he performs this deep yet hoarse growl that doesn't match up with the brutality of the rest of the music. Other than that, Demonweb Pits was a pretty sweet brutal death metal album that featured fantastic instrumental work and a slight hint of melody.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Petrychor – Makrokosmos

I've been following the one-man atmospheric black metal band Petrychor since 2010. I listened to their first EP Dryad and was instantly blown away by their wall of sound production. Petrychor was unique in their style and vision. I wanted more. One year later, they released their full-length debut, Effigies and Epitaphs, and again I was pleased by the powerful production and the amazing musicianship. Then the band fell silent. Three years later, Petrychor emerged from its slumber and blessed us with the powerful and bold Makrokosmos.

Makrokosmos is quite different when you compare it to their previous work. Instead of looking down at the earth, Petrychor now looks up at the stars. Instead of having a warm, nature-based sound, the music now bears a cold, stellar sound. It all begins with the non-metal elements. As usual, Petrychor uses synths, violins, acoustic guitars, and female vocals to build their atmosphere. On their earlier releases, it felt like you were wandering through an ancient forest that has never been visited by man before. On this album, it feels like you're venturing through the vast reaches of space and taking in the vast wonders that it holds.

Since this is a one-man band, Petrychor uses a drum machine. This drum machine has always had a bit of a mechanical sound. I usually don't like this kind of drum sound, but it perfectly fits the theme of this album. It sounds cold and piercing, like shards of ice flaking off an asteroid. This drum machine still plays those rampaging blast beats that black metal is famous for, but they also play plenty of simple post rock rhythms that feature occasional bursts of complexity. It feels like the plodding of red dwarves through vast clouds of interstellar gas.

The vocals consist of that classic black metal rasp that is concealed within a thick cloud of reverb. In the past, the frontman sounded like an awoken spirit of the forest. Now he sounds like an ancient god of the void. He emanates a chilling sense of power, but also a sense of mystery. As for the guitars, they're just as amazing as they were on the full-length debut. The man plays blazingly fast tremolo riffs that are wrapped up in a cloak of foggy distortion. The performance conjures forth a grand and swelling atmosphere. It makes you feel as though you're standing in the presence of supergiant stars. It's this mighty wall of sound that really sells the album.

I can feel the cosmos when I listen to this album. Makrokosmos is an amazing black metal album that features incredibly skilled and diverse musicianship, a breathtaking atmosphere, and an awe-inspiring wall of sound production. This is the best album Petrychor has made to date. It shows that the universe is not as bleak and dead as you might think. On the contrary, it depicts a universe that is brimming with life.

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Touhou Tuesday #133

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Infecting the Swarm – Pathogenesis

Infecting the Swarm is a one-man brutal death metal band from Bavaria. It was formed by a guy named Johannes Slamdown, a former member of Chordotomy. He released his debut album, Pathogenesis, back in May, and it's fucking awesome.

On Pathogenesis, Mr. Slamdown throws in equal amounts of technical flair, slam, and Brodequin-style brutality. The drums play a constant torrent of rampaging blast beats that feature a crushing snare sound and calamitous cymbals. They also play a few mid-paced rhythms that feature jackhammer double bass. One-man brutal death metal bands typically use drum machines, but these drums sound so real that it's impossible for me to tell the difference. If this guy is using an actual drum kit, then he is a skilled multi-instrumentalist. If he's using a drum machine, then this means he's using the best drum machine money can buy.

The vocals consist of a brutal gurgle that reminds me of bands like Brodequin. They sound amazingly sick and disgusting. Best of all are the guitars. I've never listened to Chordotomy, so I don't know how good he was back then, but I do know he puts on an awesome performance here. He spends most of the time playing blazingly fast shredding riffs that zerg rush your ear canal and tear apart your brain. Sometimes he'll slow things down and play some ravenous chugging rhythms. Then he'll turn things around by playing some sweet technical displays and wicked tremolo riffs. He even throws in a few pinch harmonics on occasion.

One-man metal bands have a reputation for being shitty. Luckily, this is not the case with Infecting the Swarm. Mr. Slamdown is highly skilled with a wide range of instruments, he's able to write some really brutal songs, and he's able to belt out some gruesome vocals. If you're looking for sublime brutality, then be sure to listen to this album.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Excoriate – Dead Molestation

Excoriate was a brutal death metal band from Oakdale, Connecticut. They formed in 1991, released a single demo called Dead Molestation one year later, then broke up shortly thereafter. Just like most other one demo bands back then, they were pretty boring.

The music sounds like a mix between Florida death metal and Carcass. This kind of thing should sound awesome. Unfortunately, Excoriate managed to find a way to make it sound boring and sterile. The drums stick to playing a bunch of simple blast beats and mid-paced rhythms. Not only are these arrangements completely unoriginal, but the kit has no force or impact behind it. The drummer tries to sound exciting, but his attempts have failed.

The vocals consist of a deep guttural growl that sounds like Jeff Walker, except devoid of any of that spirit that made Jeff Walker so fascinating. His performance just seems so aimless. It feels like he's trying to sound brutal just to sound brutal. The guitars are the same way. They just play a bunch of extremely down-tuned tremolo riffs that are only focused on sounding brutal. The performance is so bland and uninteresting it almost put me to sleep.

So there you have it, folks. Another boring death metal band from the early 90s that shat out a single boring demo before vanishing into obscurity. There's nothing of interest here, so just move along.
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