Sunday, September 14, 2014
A short while ago, I read an article Matt Harvey of Exhumed wrote on his blog. (Oh, by the way, Matt Harvey of Exhumed has his own blog.) In this article where he explains why death metal faded from the limelight in the mid-90s, he offhandedly mentions a little band named Thyabhorrent. The cover of their sole EP Death Rides At Dawn intrigued me, so I decided to check it out. I'm glad I did because this shit's pretty sweet.
The first thing I admire about this EP is just how prominent the bass is. It plods alongside the guitars so menacingly. This was back in the day when death metal bands actually gave a shit about the bass. Modern death metal bands can certainly learn something from them. The drums don't really do a lot of blasting. Instead, they play a lot of galloping death/thrash rhythms that occasionally feature rumbling double bass. Sometimes they'll slow down the tempo to borderline doom/death levels.
I just love the vocals. They primarily consist of an angry, high-pitched, energetic scream. They sorta sound like Matt Harvey. I wonder if Matt Harvey was partially influenced by this band. I'll have to ask him that question one of these days. These guys also perform some deep growls that help make the music sound extra powerful. As for the guitars, they play thrash metal riffs through a death metal filter. They kinda sound like early Death. They sound really strong, but there are moments where they display a wonderful touch of melody.
This was a fantastic EP. It was a great blend of thrash metal and death metal that featured great instrumentation and excellent vocals. My favorite song was “Occultus Brujeria”. Although that song is six minutes, it offers up a lot of diverse material. Matt Harvey has some great taste. I should ask him to recommend me some more old school death metal sometime.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
There were two Norwegian death metal bands named Infanticide. One was from Sarpsborg and the other was from Lørenskog. I was only able to find the demo of the one from Lørenskog. They formed in 1992, released a self-titled demo two years later, then broke up soon thereafter. This demo features an angry muslim guy on the cover. He's angry because he just listened to the demo and realized how much it sucked.
Infanticide play some sort of strange early progressive death metal similar to bands like Atheist. Problem is, they play it in a sloppy, drunken manner. Not only do the drums sound pitifully weak, especially during the blasts and fills, but it seems like the drummer is just striking random toms most of the time. He seems to have no idea what the fuck he's doing. He's like a kid who just watched Sean Reinert rock the kit and wants to do the same. In his mind, he's a percussive virtuoso. What he actually produces is an embarrassing display of musical ineptitude.
The vocals sound like a really bad Jeff Walker impression. The guy also belts out a lot of awkward deep growls. Whenever the vocals show up, they overpower the rest of the music and make me want to pour sulfuric acid in my ears. As for the guitars, imagine it like this. Take Paul Masdival, tear off his fingers, replace them with sausages, and whack him in the head until his IQ drops to 50. Now give him a cheap-ass electric guitar you found in a nearby dumpster and tell him to play. That's what the guitars sound like on this demo. They just play random notes in a feeble attempt to look deep and complex. They also play a few chugging rhythms that would sound heavy if not for the painfully weak production. The only redeeming quality about this demo is the solos they occasionally play. I especially like the one near the end of “Dismal Path”. Alas, it's too little too late.
This demo certainly isn't the worse thing I've heard in the world, but it's still plenty bad. These drunken Norwegians thought they could play mind-boggling progressive death metal, but they end up falling flat on their asses. They thought you didn't need talent in order to play progressive death metal, but they proved themselves wrong in the most hilarious fashion possible. Did I also mention that they throw in strange keyboards at the most inappropriate times? They totally do that.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Australian death metal band Martire released their first full-length album, Brutal Legions of the Apocalypse, 24 years after they originally formed. That's a long fucking time. Will this album be worth the wait? Let's find out.
I'm gonna be brutally honest here: this album sounds tame compared to their earlier works. I chalk this up to the clean production. Their earlier releases featured a dark and gritty production that perfectly matched the violent music they produced. This album, on the other hand, sounds way too polished. I get the impression that this album was digitally produced. I know it's easier to produce an album digitally, but it just doesn't have the impact of analog production.
As for the music itself, it's performed nicely, but it just sounds, well, toned down. It doesn't sound as chaotic as their earlier releases. Of course, the band members are getting old, so this is to be expected. The drums play a lot of simple blast beats as well as some mid-paced death/thrash rhythms and a few fills. They sound nice, but they're not the whirlwind of death they were on the first EP. The bass is audible, which is nice, but like the drums it sounds way too clean. Whatever happened to the nasty, filthy bass of old?
The vocals consist of a blackened thrash rasp and a deep death metal growl. The performance just isn't as menacing as it was back in the 90s. As for the guitars, they still play a lot of shredding riffs, but thanks to that accursed clean production, there's no force or sheer sense of terror behind their performance. At least they still play a bunch of wild solos.
Brutal Legions of the Apocalypse is kind of a disappointment. I expected more grinding evil, but what I got instead was a band that feels declawed. If Martire ever makes another album again, then I hope they go back to having a dark and gritty production.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Myrkur is a one-person black metal band that has been receiving a massive amount of hype lately. From Metal Sucks to No Clean Singing, this band is being hyped to the high heavens. People keep going on and on about how super duper awesome this band is. From what I can tell, the reason why Myrkur is being hyped so much is because the person behind it is a woman. Seriously? That's it? I can understand the hype if the person behind the band was a black transexual midget or something, but there have been plenty of women in metal before Myrkur came along. Holy Moses. Arch Enemy. Astarte. Myrkur is nothing new. During my research, I discovered that the site doing the most hyping is... Pitchfork. God fucking damn it. I knew those stupid fucking hipsters would eat this shit up and regurgitate it onto the unthinking public.
Oh, by the way, all this talk about the band's undeserved hype reminded me of this asinine article that Vice wrote. (Lurker's Path tore them a new asshole here.) The author, Theis Duelund, claimed that Myrkur was receiving hate solely because the music was made by a woman. His “evidence” consists of two obvious troll comments and a massive amount of hearsay. Of course, that didn't stop him from claiming that metal is a den of unwashed misogynists who hate change. No, Theis, we don't hate the person behind the music, we hate the music itself.
The first thing I noticed about this album is that Myrkur tries way, way too hard to sound like old Norwegian black metal. The production is intentionally lo-fi, but instead of sounding dark and cold, it sounds thin and weak. The drums sound like they were performed by a real person, but they also sound bland and uninteresting. The snare sounds like a dull thud. This thudding becomes incredibly annoying during the blast beats. The blast beats themselves pack no punch. The mid-paced rhythms sound very tame and do nothing to push the boundaries or entice me.
The guitars play a bunch of tremolo riffs that have been played by a thousand other black metal bands. Not only is there nothing original about the performance, but the riffs sound rather sloppily performed at times. I expected better from a supposedly professional recording. Thanks to the mishandled production, the riffs feature no sense of menace or atmosphere. They just sound limp and lifeless. Sure, some of the lead riffs sound nice, but again, many other black metal bands played those exact same riffs way better.
The only good thing I can say about this album is that I like the vocals. The performance consists of these angelic clean vocals that sound motherfucking beautiful. However, having one good element doesn't make up for having a bunch of shitty elements. Myrkur's music is like a shitty old car with a new paint job. Sure, it may look nice, but it doesn't change the fact that your car is a piece of shit. Yeah, I know I used that analogy in my review of Von's rerecording of Satanic Blood, but it definitely applies here. After listening to this album, I just realized something: the beautiful clean vocals paired with shitty black metal is reminiscent of Alcest, and I hate Alcest.
Don't believe the hype, ladies and gentlemen. Myrkur may have great vocals, but the actual black metal part is total shit. Hell, half this album isn't even black metal. It just consists of those vocals, and those vocals aren't even original. I bet you that if you look hard enough, you can find a band that did exactly what Myrkur did, and way better too. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go back to giving attention to bands that actually deserve it.
Interfectorment is a brutal death metal band that comes from Bandung, the city of utter brutality. They formed in 2012 and released their first EP, Diorama Teatrikal Pembantaian, one year later. It's fucking brutal.
The music sounds like it was influenced by Italian brutal death metal band Putridity. Putridity was influenced by Brodequin. Therefore, Interfectorment was influenced by Brodequin. Drummer Dendy Ramdhani plays a lot of fast and violent blast beats as well as some mid-paced rhythms that feature rapid double bass. The powerful snare sound is what really makes his performance crushing. Bassist Teguh Prasetyo mainly follows the guitars, but there are moments when his performance bubbles to the surface and makes the music sound even more brutal.
Vocalist Rivaldy Bayu Aji performs a deep and hoarse growl that manages to perfectly blend in with the brutality around him. The guitars are performed by Agung Prasetia, and he performs a great deal of dark shredding riffs that harken back to Brodequin. They also have this crunchy tone that sounds more akin to the old school Swedish death metal scene. No problem with that. They still sound brutal. Sometimes he'll perform some slow slam riffs that are accompanied by screeching pinch harmonics and other times he'll play these really infectious hooks such as those on the title track and “Parade Tubuh Tanpa Kepala”.
Many bands try to achieve extreme brutality but most of them fail. Interfectorment manage to do it right. They play great Brodequin style brutal death metal that features straightforward songwriting and excellent production.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
In 1998, Australian death metal band Martire released their second EP Lucifer, seven years after their first. They sure like to take their time when it comes to releasing new material. There are only three songs on this release, but those songs are awesome.
Lucifer is a continuation of the infernal grinding sound they crafted on their first EP. The drums release an unholy torrent of rapid blast beats and straightforward grindcore rhythms, but they also play a few slow rhythms on “The Heretic”. There are also times when they play some rather complex fills. As with the first EP, the bass spends most of its time following the guitars, but they still make the music sound thick and gritty.
The vocals consist of a gruff grindcore growl and a crazy black metal scream, pretty much the same as it was on the first EP. I don't mind the sameness. The performance is still great. As for the guitars, they're still a merciless display of grinding fury. They play an unholy storm of shredding riffs as well as plenty of diabolical tremolo riffs. On this album, they add a bit of variety by playing a few slower riffs, especially on “The Heretic”. Once again, the solos are downright terrifying. Martire is one of those few bands that can craft a solo that sounds like it came straight from the depths of hell.
This EP maybe short, but it still manages to be awesome. The music is slightly more complex but it still holds true to their earlier material.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
Martire is one of Australia's oldest death metal bands. They formed way back in 1988 and are still alive today. They released two demos before releasing their first EP in 1991, and let me tell you, this shit's crazy.
The band's music is chaotic and thrashing. It almost sounds like grindcore. The drums play a constant bombardment of stripped-down and hard-hitting blast beats that are sometimes accompanied by energetic punkish rhythms. This makes me wonder if they were listening to Napalm Death while they were recording this. They didn't see the legendary album Scum as a display of utter destruction, they saw it as a challenge. The bass is pretty prominent, and although it spends all its time following the guitars (except for that one part on “Hell-A-Caust”), it still makes the music sound really thick and pulverizing.
The vocals consist of a deranged black metal scream and a gruff death metal growl. The performance sounds downright demonic and I love it. As for the guitars, they're utter grinding fury. The band spends most of its time playing hyper fast shredding riffs that set fire to the strings. They also play a lot of fiery thrash metal riffs and rampaging death metal riffs. They mainly play fast, but they throw in some mid-paced sections on occasion. They then top things off with some of the most outrageous solos you'll ever hear in old school death metal. My favorite solo is the one they play at the beginning of “Thou Shalt Burn”.
This is one of the best metal EPs I've listened to in my life. The music is utterly violent and chaotic. Martire is terrifyingly deranged, and I love them for it.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
After listening to Hate Forest's full-length discography, I now remember how I discovered the band. It was October 2006. I was reading Nietzsche and was utterly fascinated by what he had to say. I then searched for some metal bands that talked about Nietzsche. The only band that showed up was Hate Forest. They even had a compilation called Nietzscheism. This intrigued me, so I fired up DC++ and downloaded it. I was an idiotic teenager back then, so I was unable to comprehend the intricacies of Hate Forest's music. I eventually grew bored and spent the rest of the day browsing /d/. After nearly eight years, I decided to give this compilation another chance.