Friday, October 27, 2017

Gutslit - Amputheatre




Record Label: Transcending Obscurity


There are no prizes for guessing which metal sub-genre a band called Gutslit fit into. This band from India is undeniably death metal of the brutal variety. Gutslit got our attention as a member of the band plays in the instrumental band The Minerva Conduct and we loved their recent album (which we reviewed here).

"Amputheatre" opens with the title track, which is a quiet instrumental track which barely breaks the one minute mark. This track is countered by "Brazen Bull" which features a frantic rhythm section and grunted vocals, which occasionally slow down only to proceed to bulldoze the listener at ramming speed once again. The drums are pummeled at the start of "From One Ear to The Other" and then the band take an effective breather to carry on with their barrage of grunts, riffs and drumbeats. On this track, there's a technical death metal band dying to get out as the dynamics in the guitar work change with faster paced riffs during the song and though the vocals are still grunts they become much more audible and then shift between dirty grunts and near yelling. Necktie Party is a dirty barrage of drumbeats, riffs and grunts that seem to fly and spit nails directly at the listener until mid-song, where the tempo slows and leaves a little breathing room before the sheer punishment starts again. Gutslit realize that not varying the temp can lead to boredom and slow down again before this track reaches its conclusion.

The rhythm section provides a bounciness to the opening of "Blood Eagle" and then speed and chaos take over. The drums are really fast and there are overtones of chaos in the death grunts.



There are some great metal guitar riffs on "Brodequin" that cross metal sub-genres rather than fitting strictly into the death metal categorization although Gutslit still fit firmly in that metallic pigeonhole. Gutslit lay the angry death metal on thick in "Maraschino Eyeballs"

Gutslit's shift in tempos and dynamics separate from a vast number of other bands who put themselves under the brutal death metal umbrella. As Brandon Lee's character stated in The Crow movie, "It can't rain all the time."

3/5

Release Date: 15 October 2017




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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tuskar - Arianrhod





Record Label: Riff Rock Records

Tuskar are a two piece band from the Milton Keynes area of England. The band is comprised of vocalist/drummer Tyler Hodges and guitarist Tom Dimmock, who are in their early 20's and formed the band around a year ago. The young duo list their main musical influences as Conan, Sleep, Behemoth and Darkthrone. Tuskar describe their sound as nuclear sludge. The 5 track release is described as an EP.

"Arianhod" starts off with a crushingly heavy track named "Fateweaver" which has begins slow doomy riffs coupled with vocals that sound buried in a pool of sludge but the tempo changes into a speedy burst of chaos for a few moments before pounding your head into the walls of distortion. There's a slow lumbering mammoth of a beginning to "Where Strides the Collusus" and then the rhythm changes into a boucier direction. The sparse vocals sound like they're being yelled from a pit covered in ice. This man wants out!! "Toegrinder" staarts out with some crushingly heavy riffs then the sounds depart to the worlds of atmospheric post-metal and black metal. The heaviness is really laid on thick in the sludge of "Moon-Hooch" due to heavy Black Sabbath style guitar riffs coupled with slow doom styled drumbeats. The vocalist sounds somewhere between angry and about to puke, which is undeniably sludgy. There's a touch of psychedelia and punk within the metallic sludge of EP closer "Crimson Skull".



On "Arianhod", Tuskar create a wonderfully nasty noise that sounds like it comes from many more than two people. Apparently the band have another EP and an album in the pipeline for next year. It will definitely be interesting to hear more from this band.

3.5/5

Release Date: 20 October 2017

Tuskar on facebook



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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Affliktor




Record Label: Transcending Obscurity


These days it seems that one man black metal bands are a dime a dozen. However the one man band Affliktor is more than a notch above the usual bedroom musician that considers themselves a band as Affliktor not only add a thrash metal element but as the main man behind Affliktor is Toby Knapp, who has been hammering away on guitar since the early nineties and releasing underground metal albums both as a solo artist and as a band.

While Knapp's vocals are of the typically evil black metal goblin variant as you might expect it's the guitar playing that puts this above not only a tonne of one man black metal bands but also many other blackened thrash bands. The thrash metal on "Born to the Breeder" is strong and some mighty fine guitar leads hits the eardrums when the song slows down. "Backwards into Hell" is more black metal oriented although the drumming is more thrash metal oriented than blast-beats and there are wicked guitar leads that push their way out rather than being prominent parts of the song, which helps to strengthen the song. The intro to "Chaos Magick Totaliy"harks back to both 80's Metallica and Megadeth but then heads to much darker area of metal while still incorporating thrash style drumming and guitar solos. "Burn the Earth" convinces the listener that Affliktor really do want to set the world ablaze with the evil vocals, quickly paced drums and blistering guitar work.



It's definitely mainly the technicality of the guitar work that sets Affliktor above other blackened thrash bands out there. That the drumming isn't chock full of blast-beats and favours the more thrash metal approach is also a huge thumbs up. It's worth noting that the PR sheet hits the mark suggesting that is for fans of Slayer, Testament, Inquisition, Desaster, Arrallu, Waxen, Kreator, Sodom and Yngwie Malmsteem.

4/5

Release Date: 20 October 2017


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Eradicator






Label: Stonewalled


The Eradicator was a squash-obsessed character from a series of sketches in the Canadian TV show, Kids in the Hall that aired over twenty years ago. Chicago musician, Andy Slania has resurrected the character and he's still super-enthusiastic about the only sport that matters, Squash. Sometimes The Eradicator performs with a band and other times he goes solo.

The Eradicator plays brash aggressive punk with a melodic edge. The rhythm section often speeds through song at the pace of a squash game and mimic the ball hitting the wall. The opening track "I'm The Eradicator" is the perfect introduction to this squash obsessive outfit.



There's a bouncy appeal to the catchy "I'm a Squash Man", which gives reasons as to why squash is the greatest sport ever.



While only one of the twelve songs on this album runs over the three minute mark the punk energy on this album somehow makes this debut release seem much longer than it actually is. The squash theme is fun. It will be interesting to see if The Eradicator will make more squash themed music in the future.

3/5


Release Date: 13 October 2017


The Eradicator on Facebook



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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sound Storm - Vertigo




Rockshots Records

The latest album from Italian symphonic metal band Soundstorm opens with a very short instrumental track, titled "Vertigo", which clocks in at 1 minute at 18 seconds. This song feels like it is over way too quickly. The second track, "The Dragonfly" opens with the operatic vocals of Fabio Privitera and chunky full on power metal but the tempo slows down at the mid-point of the song. The church choir style accompanying vocals lend the song a haunting atmosphere.






The choir accompaniment continues at the beginning of "Metamorphosis" although Sound Storm take a much more traditional metal approach even if they do utilize very noticeable keyboards. "Forsaken" opens with keyboards and is a fast moving track that brings both Queensryche and Kamelot to mind. "original Sin" is a bland symphonic metal track. I suspect the sin is sloth as the band have made sin sound really boring. "The Ocean" is thankfully a much more interesting track as it starts slowly and then transforms into a much heavier beast with pounding drums, operatic vocals and some blistering guitar work. The slow beginning to "Spiral" promises heavier music is on the way and the song does indeed get heavier as it proceeds with heavy distorted guitar and the choir adds a contrasting edge but the keyboard outro quietens proceedings and seems somewhat misplaced. Sound Storm get back on track with "Gemini", which starts out with keyboards but heavier guitars take over and the band pick up pace throughout this tune and the vocals go from near black metal style to operatic. The change in tempo and dynamics makes this a stand out track on "Vertigo".



One strong track isn't enough to grab this listener. Soundstorm don't offer much that Kamelot, Epica and Nightwish do a lot better. Now, where is that Alfred Hitchcock DVD?

2.5/5


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Release Date: North America – October 13, 2017 | Europe – December 2, 2016

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dom Zly - Dom Zly






Unquiet Records


Polish band Dom Zly have been together since the Polish autumn of 2016. The band have released a self-titled EP(it's a six song release!). The band's music is described as crust but there is much more at work on this EP than just crust punk.

The first proper song, "Bor" takes in and spits out a black metal influence with a bumblebees from hell guitar tone utilized during the song's faster moments. There's more of a post-metal meets angry crust punk feel when the band slow down mid-song. "Psy" looks towards both Discharge and post-metal.



Somewhere there is a d-beat purist shaking their first at Dom Zly for messing with what was pure. But we'll ignore the unwashed in their heavily studded leather jackets and just accept the fact that "Psy" is a damned good song. There's a sludgy underbelly to "Tramp" , which incorporates post-metal, crust punk and black and even death metal to come up with a glorious noise. The song "Dom Zly" begins as an angry sludgy blast before combining a lighter side with more atmospheric post-metal. The vocalists angry shouts betray the lighter part of the song but eventually he stops for breath and lets the light in for a while, but only to catch his breath to get angry once again. "W Noc" starts off with an ambient style introduction and the departs to a bleaker droning black metal direction where no sun can penetrate.



If you were wondering, Dom Zly roughly translates from Polish to English as “Bad House”. Whether or not they are bad, it's great that this six track release isn't being referred to as an album. Whilst there are only six tracks on this EP, there is definitely a lot to digest in one sitting as the band explore different territories of extreme music.

3.5/5

Release Date: 13 October 2017


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Firebreather - Firebreather





Label: Suicide Records



If I were to sum up the self-titled release from Swedish trio Firebreather in three words, it would be "High on Fire". There is some serious Matt Pike worship going on. Blatant worship is not necessarily a bad thing. Count the number of albums you own by Black Sabbath, early Metallica and Iron Maiden soundalikes and consider the number of times you reach for them rather than reaching for the original innovators of sound.

The vocals on Firebreather's debut very much imitate the deep throaty yowl of High on Fire's Matt Pike. Due to the High on Fire influence Firebreather have a heavy sludgy sound, which they marry with doom metal. The final song on this album has the same apocalyptical feeling that New Zealand's Beastwars were aiming at and often hitting.





In my book, four songs don't count as an album even if they are Metallica-type length. This is an EP and not an album, despite the fact that it says otherwise in various places.

3/5



Release Date: 13 October 2017



Firebreather on bandcamp




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