Saturday, December 08, 2018

Engulfed In Power...

Feel No Pain - Into the Chaos (2018)


Having changed out half of their line-up last year, following the release of their demo in 2016, the Spanish group of Feel No Pain are naturally still shaping their sound, but from the four songs on this, their first EP, they're shaping up quite well. Leading with the shortest track, “Tower of Silence”, the band gives a taste of atmosphere and drum flourishes, with chanting and croaking bird squawks leading into a doomy but energized vibe. Segueing from there into “Sky Burial”, FNP bursts loose with a blitz of drum and guitar action, firm bass-lines setting the foundation for them to rock out. The riffs are plentiful, but the band is careful not to let them drag on for too long before switching to the next, and the high speed of action gives things a feel not unlike '80s heavy metal infused with some Slayer-like aggression.
“Vanished” brings in some tricky rhythmic play, but settles into its high-speed groove with fine style, rumbling and pounding along while throwing in switch-ups and breaks that provide variety without killing the flow. The solo towards the end gives a great demonstration of the band's shredding capabilities, and the drummer never lets up in giving his part cool intensity. Closing out with “Into the Chaos Dimension”, FNP keep things strongly rocking, firing percussion barrages and striking guitar ragers while bellowing to match. As their first non-demo release, it's a Hell of an impressive one, and should earn them some attention for the hard work and intensity they put into it.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Atrocity, Earthling, Exciter, early Slayer, Weapon




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Saturday, December 01, 2018

Finding Faith Below...

Lowered - Lowered (2018)


Coming at us from the fertile musical landscape of Portland, Oregon, the debut LP from Lowered brings the group into action with half an hour of black doom metal, emphasis on the black side. Split across four songs, the band gives each piece extensive development, shifting through riffs and rhythms with sharp flexibility while keeping the speeds high enough to get your brains rattling. Melodic progressions are given clear presence in the midst of the slamming, and the breaks into sparser instrumentation are handled with enough deftness to slide them right in without detracting from the songs' flow. The vocals are suitably demonic, with a good balance of rasp and groan, and their fine meshing with the grinding tone of the guitar gives the band an extra notch of distinction to their sound, on top of the impressive flow control they maintain through the lengthy tracks. Though the album was originally released back in February, it's been picked up for vinyl reissue by Throne Records, with regular and deluxe editions available in addition to a few test pressings. Hopefully the band will keep up their momentum and provide a follow-up before too long, but in the meantime, there's plenty to savor here. Something for you fusion fans with a taste for the harder stuff.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Alraune, Earthling, Hesperian Death Horse, early Opeth, Trees




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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Refining Putrescent Urges...

Bloodsoaked Necrovoid - Demo II (2018)


While the personal details released by this band so far are few, the second demo from Bloodsoaked Necrovoid shows the three-piece Costa Rican group churning through a murky combination of doom metal's heaviness and atmosphere with death metal's rage and speed. Running just over a third of an hour, the demo features track titles as evocative as the band's own name, including “Flesh Divinations for the Ego-Plundered Psyche” and “Sempiternal Gravitation Pull of the Massive Cosmic Cauldron”, which gives the songs a more explicit sense of place than the gurgling vocals communicate. They fit right in with the swampy vibes and pleasingly dirty production, though, with the bass' expanding reverb pushing out in waves, the drums perforating the gloom, and guitar snarling up into surprisingly subtle riffs. It's not just a solid EP, or a good dark listen, it's also an extremely promising look at the band's potential. Keep this group on your radar, and pick yourself up a copy of this demo from Caligari Records before their stock is gone.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Heavydeath, Illimitable Dolor, Jupiterian, Lachrima Corphus Dissolvens, The Sleer




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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Symptoms Of Indulgence...

WUZI - Severed Head (2018)


Coming at us from England, the four-piece of WUZI are deploying their sophomore EP roughly half a year after their first, and with its four tracks of friendly fuzz rock, Severed Head asserts itself as a well-cooked bit of gristle. Meshing garage rock vibes with some psychedelic polish, a jigger of poppy hooks, and some sneering attitude to the vocals, the band grooves right along, sounding quite comfortable in the odd lane they've carved out for themselves. At just over a quarter of an hour, the EP moves along quickly, but there's enough care given to deepening the tracks' flavor that the brevity isn't too much to bear. Some of the tangents, like the instrumental slide of “Compromised Host”, do make me more than slightly curious to hear what the band would do with some really long track durations, or even just to hear how a bit of live jamming would turn out. In any event, the EP is one which should perk up the ears of those looking for a bit of glitter in their fuzz.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Acid Kola Turbo, Flum, The Hissy Fits, Supersnazz, Vanilla Trainwreck




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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Rolling Up Shrouds...

Tombtoker - Coffin Texts (2018)


Coming at us out of Baltimore, Maryland, the five-piece band of Tombtoker bring their debut EP out on the heels of their demo, which released about half a year ago. Infusing the standard stoner doom metal with a sludgy bit of punk energy and antagonism, the group merges crunchy riffs with sharp beats while keeping a swampy vibe active underneath. Over the course of the EP's ~20-minute run, Tombtoker capably demonstrate their facility with cranking out hard beaters alongside more withdrawn doom indulgences, and the band operates with such tightness to their playing that it's hard at times to pick out the individual guitars from their twining grooves. A solid first full release, and those who've been looking for stoner metal with a harder edge would do well to check these guys out.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Acid Witch, Attalla, Bitchcraft, Wizard Smoke, Wolf Blood




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Saturday, November 03, 2018

Passing Through Pain...

Hesperian Death Horse - Živ (2018)


When we last heard from the Croatian group of Hesperian Death Horse, the year was 2014, and they'd not only done a concept split with fellow Croats Hazarder (on the theme of Nikola Tesla), but also released their first full-length album. Now that they've returned, they've revealed that said first album (Mrtav) was actually the first part of a concept album trilogy, starting with death and ending with birth. Živ is the step between those extremes, with the title translating to 'life,' and featuring (like Mrtav) four songs, each bearing a subtitle. Živ is also a bit shorter than that first album, but considering that relative durations of life and death, that seems appropriate.
With a deep and brooding atmosphere combining doom's weight with blackened virulence, the music grows in creeping fashion, moving through passages of slow-moving heaviness and faster aggression (kind of like life, you may be thinking). The synthesis of the two produces some great tension and stirring melodic developments, and the sections which cycle a riff while gradually escalating the harshness really bring the emotional thrust to bear with finesse. HDH find an impressive amount of range and material to be drawn from the interaction of the two styles, and while the length of the album makes it prime for vinyl issuing (fingers crossed), it's also likely to leave you hungry for more. Of course, that's much preferable to having too much piled on, so cheers to the Croatian crew for the excellent album, and here's hoping it's not quite so long until the last piece of the trilogy is set upon the world.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Heavydeath, Mamaleek, Open Tomb, Ulver, WarHorse




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