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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.