HEY! I will NOT be posting on this blog anymore. I will now be continuing all of my posts on my official dot com site! headbangorgtfo.com is now live and you should visit that for all of your updated news, reviews and interviews that I’ll be doing. Thank you so much for the support on this starter blog and make sure you sub/favorite/bookmark the new site and continue reading!
The band that helped mold brutal death metal, Cannibal Corpse, has just put out their 12th studio album entitled “Torture“. Corpsegrinder and the gang are back to their usual thing, making heavy death metal while keeping that Cannibal groove about it. Ultra heavy and quite homicidal, Torture keeps this tradition going. If you liked The Wretched Spawn & Kill then you’ll love Torture, I feel like those two albums are the most similar to this newest installment. There are fast thrash metal parts, slow slamming groove sections and plenty of mosh starting, headbanging moments as well. Some of the riff work on the album is refreshing and fun, the bass guitar is (finally) more audible and the drums are back with that Cannibal thirst for blood.
I could just say “It’s a Cannibal Corpse album, either you already like them or you don’t. Check it out” and let that do the talking. Not much has changed since The Wretched Spawn. The sound is the same, the brutality is there, the tones/drums/vocals sound pretty much the same. Nothing has really changed. Honestly, that is a good thing because I have fully enjoyed what Camp Corpse has been doing for the last 2 decades. Torture is just another chapter of damn good songs in the book of death metal. It’s a neck breaker of an album and hearing the guys perform them live will be a great experience. Another thing that is consistent with Cannibal Corpse records: Listen to it loud and you’ll get a ring in your ears. This album is violently loud just like Kill and Evisceration Plague was so warn your girlfriend ahead of time. She’ll appreciate it.
When the music starts, it’s a quick tease of heaviness then an epic introduction that reminds me of the Mako Reactor soundtrack from Final Fantasy 7 when you first start the game. When that is done, it’s straight into technical death metal greatness. Spawn of Possession are rather new to me, I’ve never really listened to them before. When they released a single of theirs about a month ago I was swept off of my feet and highly anticipating the release of their album, “Incurso“. Well now it’s here: the first thing you notice is the art. The album art is fucking nuts, I don’t know what that floating thing is but it looks like is has nothing but bad intentions for that dude and the entire world.
Back to the music, you have some of the most exciting and creative song writing since Necrophagist’s “Epitaph“. The riffs are very technical and melodic at the same time and somehow amidst all of that chaos they hold down a very tight rhythmic pattern that is unlike anything I’ve previously heard. Bass guitar has unique patterns and leads as well and what I love about the bass guitar is the fact it’s pretty audible. It’s not overwhelming or behind the drums, it’s perfectly blended with the music. The drums…..I bet drummer Henrik Schönström must put WD-40 on his joints after performing each song because his intensity, speed and savagery is just pushing the limits as to what can be done by a human being on that kit. Vocals are mainly low with some mid-range screaming in there. He does this thing that many tech death bands do and that’s grunt 10,000 words a minute. Growling out words as fast as the double bass drum is going. The band as a whole has created one hell of an album and if you enjoy technical death metal, you’re in for a treat.
Newcomers from Sacramento, CA known as Plague Widow came together and recorded this EP last winter and just released it through Buriedinhell Records. This 3 piece death/grind band produces a straight forward metal attack that is filled with lightening fast riffs, blistering drumming and deep monstrous vocals. Vocals usually tend to stay on the low end with a couple of high registered screams on the EP. Drumming is always going non-stop; Tons of blasts, fills and interesting patterns when the music isn’t out for blood. Guitar is tuned low but that adds to the brutality and it’s used for actual tremolo riffing and sinister chords. Not just open string palm mutes and breakdown shit, Hal Rotter’s guitar work is sheer madness and his technique and style is quite deranged; he is trying to kill you with his guitar. Throw all three of these together and you have one solid EP, just murderous death metal that is some of the finest I’ve heard so far this year.
My only complaint isn’t even about the music itself, I find the music ultra satisfying and headbang worthy. I’d blast this shit in my garage/office or car anytime. It’s the obnoxious interlude/intro/outro stuff that takes up 45% of the EP’s space. I don’t find it necessary nor interesting to listen to. I skip them every single time, unless I am just too busy to switch it out. Even then I’m thinking to myself “Come the fuck on, get to the music”. The songs are rather short too but they are so good you can listen to them over and over and they still held my interest even after 10 full listens back to back. The EP is solid and just incredibly heavy, so if you’re a fan of death/grind you’ll appreciate the self titled EP that Plague Widow has released.
Pros: The music is straight up death metal riffs, blast beats and growls. Great production. 8.5 minutes of some of the best death metal so far this year.
Cons: Songs are rather short, the non music crap should be cut from the next EP or full length.
4 out of 5
First off, I have to say that this album is great. I really enjoy this album listen after listen. It’s truly compelling and constructed really well. There is a blend of influences coming together to make the particular sound come out of If These Trees Could Talk, and it’s very recognizable. From start to finish, there is a lovely blend of post-metal, post-rock, ambient acoustic/clean channel guitars and smooth bass grooves that work together to form these amazing works of art. The styles are very familiar to other bands if you’ve been listening to this kind of music for sometime. ITTCT have a rhythmic sense about them and their powerful grooves and riffs are similar to something Junius and Russian Circles have done. Their sense of melody and tremolo work is similar to Alcest and Falloch, those long winded chords that they do along the fretboard; there is no denying that their influence is similar to these other bands. I hate comparing bands to one another in my reviews but I couldn’t help but think of how much certain parts of Red Forest sounds like previously released material from other artists. ITTCT have created a remarkable album, don’t get me wrong…it’s just that I felt like I’ve already heard this before.
The name itself, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, is enough to spark interest in many things. Especially if it’s a rock band, with a name like that you HAVE to see what they are about. I think it’s an incredible strategy because it immediately makes you want to read about the band, listen to the band and see what they have to offer. Well, once the music starts, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo come in and give us exactly what we should expect for the rest of their new album, “Tree of Tongues“. It’s a forceful impact of energy and just a huge wall of sound that isn’t like what I usually listen to. I’m usually the death, black, grind and doom kind of guy. With a few exceptions of course so when I saw that EAPZ was compared to bands like Deftones and Dillinger Escape Plan I was like “Yeah, fucking right. That’s some ballsy shit saying your sound is similar to their sound.” Well, they are pretty fucking close and so much more. Exotic Animal Petting Zoo’s “Tree of Tongues” is new, fun, fresh and really really really good. It’s an entirely new genre of music, due to the fact they have no barriers. The sound on Tree of Tongues is a unique sound and I am literally blown away after each and every listen.
From the black depths of America hails a mysterious band with little known information about them. Obolus has recently released another EP entitled “Lament“, a follow up to last years 2 song demo release. The depressive black metal pouring from my speakers fills my soul with dread, despair and total fuckin misanthropy. That’s how you should feel while listening to this music. Vocals are barely understood and are desolate, guitars are heavily distorted and fuzzy, drums are intense with blast beats from hell and overall song writing, while not entirely original, is executed very very well. “Five tracks of misanthropic ritualistic blackness mixed with melancholic guitars” is one good way to put it.
Crosses comes back with another EP for us all simply titled “EP ††” and it basically picks right back up from where EP † left off. While still wildly amazing like the first EP, it has a more soothing sexy ambiance about it that you would normally get from a Nine Inch Nails album. Chino’s vocal work is as always amazing as hell, music is moving and catchy and Chuck Doom’s low end bass work is fucking phenomenal. You cannot help but sing along, you cannot help but groove along to the beat and Crosses definitely makes you “feel” the music.
This is going to be quick as I don’t have much to say about the album. Psycroptic’s latest album “The Inherited Repression” is a phenomenal album musically and the songs are fun to listen to at the time. I acknowledge how talented these musicians are and how hard they have worked on this album. I get into it and headbang a little while listening to The Inherited Repression, the album as a whole really never captured my interest though, no matter how many times I listened to the album. It is truly great but highly forgettable. The creativity is there, the vocals aren’t all bad (however I do not care for them) and the songs are heavy and rockin….it just loses me each and every time. It’s like some weird thing where I enjoy the album some while I am listening to it….but I have no desire to want to listen to it again.
I got the same thing while listening to the new Machine Head and the latest Divine Heresy albums, decent music but I just do not give a shit. I wanted to put this away and listen to something else. So, while the music is genuinely good, I just don’t think this is a good album. Nothing captured my interest, no riff got stuck in my head, no lyrics worth repeating, no leads made me rewind and listen to it again. Time after time I forced myself to listen to this album just to give it ANOTHER chance. I desperately wanted to find something great and like the album…I was let down every time.
I highly suggest listening to this album once. At least to enjoy the music, the vocals aren’t really worth a damn. Vocal range is boring and not impressive at all.
Pros: Music is good, really good.
Cons: Vocals are boring. Music never stuck with me, nothing catchy.
2 out of 5
Nephelium’s “Coils of Entropy” is straight up death metal with no gimmicks or any filler bullshit. This is straight up raw and dirty death metal. I say dirty because those guitar tones are muddy and nasty. Rhythm riffs are just thick and get the riot moving and the leads are well executed and fun. Drums n bass are monstrous and vocals are done in the style of old school era death metal. Each track is throat ripping death metal that is heavily influenced by old school death metal. The riffs are the main focus on the guitars, showcasing some technical leads. Solos are often quick and fuckin shred.
Where Coils of Entropy succeeds is how good the songs are. The riffs man, the riffs! Each song is packed with them and the brutality of the album as a whole is on par with Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse and Autopsy. I just want to throw up horns and headbang each time I listen to this album. Nephelium is one of those bands who are severely over looked and under appreciated. The only thing I didn’t care for on the album was the ending vocals on the song “Malediction“. It sounded as if the singer watched some Looney Tunes and then tried to mimic the Tasmanian Devil, it’s just laughable the way the vocals are on that part. Other than that, the album front front to back is rather flawless.
There are some rather long songs on here and you might think to yourself, “Man, these are going to get repetitive and boring awfully quick.” Well, you are wrong. “Malediction” and “Coils of Entropy” are a combined total of just under 19 minutes and they never lost me. The musicianship and writing on this album are done with care and executed with vicious precision and it’s clear that Nephelium take their work very seriously. If you are a fan of old school death metal, good guitar work or just a fan of heavy music in general, then Coils of Entropy is just what you want/need.
Pros: The guitars fucking rule man, vocals are brutal and drumming/bass work is destructive
Cons: Just 30 seconds or so of silly vocals, other than that…no real negative comments
4.5 out of 5
Tone is heavy, drums are fucking nuts and vocals kill your ears (in a good way). Aborted’s “Global Flatline” is fucking awesome! Each time I listen to this monster it always makes me energetic, alert and happy. How could such a brutal grind/death metal album make me happy? Let’s see…..let’s start off with the epic amount of endless riffs that is pumped out on this album. Seriously, if you enjoy rhythm guitar, Aborted does not disappoint. I fucking love great riffs and song writing and Global Flatline fucking brings it song after song after song. Just endless riffing, blasting and screaming. Makes me wish I was in a mosh pit each and every time I listen to this record. The intensity of the band is unmatched, I haven’t heard anything close to this in a long fucking time. Drumming is more than just mammoth double bass and blast beats, there are incredible rhythm sections and fills throughout the entire album. Vocals are changed up quite a bit, being ultra guttural and then a higher raspier scream that sounds like no one else.
Inner Fear is a band consisting of artists from already existing different bands across Europe. Inner Fear have been around since 1997 but on the back burner so they can focus on their main bands. However, they have recently come back together to create and release their latest album, First Born Fear. The sound is similar to most other melodic/symphonic metal bands out there. There are two vocalists, Serg covers the lows and evil screams and Vic Anselmo covers the womanly elegant singing. It’s not your usual Evanescence shitty vocal structures and patterns, Serg is mainly on the mic. Khopec holds it on guitars fairly well. There are no mind blowing riffs or solo’s happening on the album and most of the riffs are palm muted power chords and some tremolo picked parts too. He keeps it heavy but it’s convoluted, uninspired and boring most of the time. Bass guitar is the same, nothing extravagant happening and it’s just following the guitars rhythm. Keys are reminiscent of 90′s Cradle of Filth/Dimmu Borgir. The keys are always going and is one of the main things you’ll notice throughout the entire album. The best part about the album is the drumming. Marthus has tons of fills, beats, rhythm patterns and tempos to keep those interested in the kit happy.
The album as a whole is average. Music isn’t particularly bad but it’s just shit I’ve heard before. Nothing stands out and catches my attention. It’s a fine album to listen to as background noise. I’d say it’s a damn good band to get those interested in symphonic metal. You could go from Inner Fear to Cradle of Filth to Vesania. It’s not an annoying album by any means, the music played is actually good…it is just one of these situations where I am in a “been there, heard that” mentality and I cannot shake it. Give it a listen and find out for yourself, it does deserve atleast one or two spins on the ol MP3 player. It’s a decent album, I just can’t get into it. I neither like it nor hate it.
Pros: Great intro band to better symphonic metal, drums and vocals are the best part
Cons: It’s a band you’d expect to hear opening for Dimmu Borgir, Guitars are just boring, keys can get annoying at times.
2.5 out of 5
I never paid attention to Abigail Williams, because like an asshole, I thought with a band name like that, they were just another one of these awful metalcore/deathcore bands that blended in with the rest of the crowd. However, when I discovered they were a band who performs black metal, it definitely got my attention. Well, Abigail Williams proves once again, never judge a book by it’s cover because Becoming is an amazing work of art. Blending what you would like from acts such as Agalloch and Wolves In The Throne Room and making it their own unique sound. It’s very dark, atmospheric and moody. Slow paced music and venomous screams reign down on you as well as very melodic riffs and creative song writing. Becoming is true to what you would want from a black metal band, sinister vocals and ominous guitar riffs. It’s also very promising in terms of what you can expect from a post-black/ambient black metal band, very atmospheric and pulls you into a state of mind that is very hard to describe. Ah, genre labeling…what a waste of time right? You get my point.
1. Vanity of Perversion
2. Magnum Rivet
3. Onslaught of Warfare
4. Screams of Distant Terror
6. Incessant Torture
7. Subject Delta
Crushing slam groove starts this album off immediately and it’s back to what Splattered Entrails does best, make you fucking headbang. This 2012 EP is another blast-tastic death metal album that has even catchier riffs than the previous release. The tempo is slowed down a little bit in the guitar riff section, making the riffs that much heavier sounding. I mean that, these riffs sound like they weight 10,000 pounds. Drums sound great again with the exception of a couple of crash parts, it’s just annoying at times but only when I focus on it. Vocals are deep and will drag you down to hell. It seems to be the smaller guys now-a-days are belching out some impressive vocals anymore. You would think a giant was behind that microphone. The opening roar on the track “Screams of Distant Terror” is a prime example of the monstrous screams Mike can produce.
One thing I like is how crisp and clean Mike O’Hara’s picking hand is. The riffs sound really good and are not sloppy at all. Featuring layers, melodies and tapping – the song writing is a little more complex while still very structured and brutal. Some of the riffs are just dreadful and scary at times. There is a nod to Mike’s previous work, nasty guttural slam with some mean double bass behind it on “Incessant Torture”. Ending the album is another track featuring mean riffs and roars that would knock a bears nuts off and send him running. The 2012 EP from Splattered Entrails is a mean one. O’Hara keeps pumping out quality death metal and I think this EP is just the beginning of what to expect for later this year!
Pros: Groove, slam, death, brutality…this album has it all and delivers it with full force.
Cons: Not for the weak.
4.5 out of 5
1. Straight To The Sun
3. Ghost Walking
5. The Undertow
6. The Number Six
10 . Insurrection
11. Terminally Unique
12. To The End
14. King Me
Pure Fucking American Metal titans LAMB OF GOD are back and beginning 2012 with a thirst for blood. The riffs are as catchy as ever, the solo’s are deadlier than they ever were and Randy’s vocals haven’t lost it’s touch. The rhythm section is as strong as ever with heavy under tone’s and classic LoG’s drum work. Resolution is top notch and from beginning to end it’s non stop energy and headbanging. Being that this is their 7th studio release, you’d think the riffs would get old or begin to repeat or the vocals wouldn’t be as strong as they are. You are wrong and you won’t be disappointed. This is a straight up great Lamb of God release. Produced and mixed by Josh Wilbur (Whom has done the last two LoG albums, Wrath and Sacrament), he keeps things tight and sounding great. Resolution is another chapter in the story of the band, a chapter that proves to us that there is no stopping them or even slowing them down.
1. Autre Temps (Album Version)
2. Là Où Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles
3. Les Voyages De L’Âme
4. Nous Sommes L’Emeraude
5. Beings Of Light
6. Faiseurs De Mondes
8. Summer’s Glory
Alcest makes a triumphant return with their latest album, “Les Voyages De L’Âme“. This beautiful post-black album has everything you’d want and expect from the band. While experiencing the album, I felt like I was walking across a field. Enjoying the air and the trees. Reaching a river bank and stopping to enjoy the scene and nature. The music on this album is good for the soul. The tones of the guitar and singing just really touch you in a way that many bands would only dream of. Les Voyages De L’Âme is just soothing and while it does feature some black metal vocals, those are very rare. It’s mainly great composition and singing that would make anyone appreciate it.
Turns out Les Voyages De L’Âme in English means “The Journeys of the Soul“, and this album definitely takes your soul on a journey. It’s like a combination of how Agalloch/Falloch and Junius makes me feel. You can thank Neige for most of the work as he covers guitars, bass, synth and vocals on the album. Drum work is done by Winterhalter. If you like to think, feel and dream while listening to your music. Then Alcest has created the perfect album for you.
While the album is very well done, it tends to get repetitive if I’m not in the mood for it. Each track is good but none of them stand out and grab me at all. It’s all very similar to one another. They could have released this as a one 50 minute long track. This is usually not a problem with me but after a few rotations in I wasn’t feeling it as I was before. The appreciation and acknowledgement of how good this is will always be there, I just need to be in the mood for it.
Pros: Excellent music and production, I love the singing
Cons: Kinda all blends together and gets repetitive towards the end
3.5 out of 5
1. Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)
2. Travelling Alone
3. Alternate Ending
4. Lightning & Snow
6. Death Is Not An Exit
7. Adora Vivos
9. Modern Life Architecture
10. Kiss My Ashes Goodbye (Part I)
11. Kiss My Ashes Goodbye (Part II)
I’m going to begin this review with the notes that were found within the promo. Canada’s WOODS OF YPRES push their haunted brand of bleak metal into new dimensions of tortured gloom. ‘Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light‘ defines the sound the band have been striving for, marrying downbeat doom rock with catchy melody and hooky choruses into a sound that promises hope on one hand and delivers desolation on the other. Band mastermind David Gold delivers his dry Nick Cave-esque lyrical approach with a rumbling, rich baritone offset with a heartfelt ‘regular’ vocal, laying his soul bare on tracks such as ‘Career Suicide (Is Not A Real Suicide)‘ or the frail ‘Finality‘. With a rich production courtesy of John Fryer (Depeche Mode, NIN, White Zombie, HIM), the lush orchestration sets the emotions on edge in songs such as ‘Traveling Alone‘ or ‘Death Is Not An Exit‘. Woods of Ypres manage to make music that sounds catchy and upbeat, while crushing hearts at the same time, producing a dangerously addictive combination of self depreciation and eternal hope making ‘Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light‘ a dark curse for those who dare to dream.
More after the jump.