BY THERON MOORE
The Malefic Chapter III
Nader Sadek ain’t your ordinary death metal band, in fact they kinda transcend those boundaries. Take the song “Descent” where we find the band reaching deep inside their darkened, blasphemed souls to produce a song that’s haunting in it’s own right. I like the fact that Sadek aren’t afraid to explore and change it up musically. With “Descent:” Three words: Deep. Emoting. Woeful.
I like this record because I get the feel that Nader Sadek allows the songs to dictate how their music gets presented, not the other way around. They’re not falling into the trap of having to play fast, blast beat shit with harsh vocals because that’s what’s required of them. They do what they do because Nader Sadek is vested in their music, and it shows.
“The Malefic: Chapter III” was first released as a free CD in Decibel Magazine (#122), Terrorizer Magazine in the UK and Legacy Magazine in Germany (#94). “The Malefic…” will be available digitally soon. Can’t wait to hear a full record by these guys. Buy now.
Where Evil Dwells
Release: 17 March 2015
Speed metal up the ass, the way it was meant to be! I liked “Where Evil Dwells.” Personally I think this genre is getting saturated with a lot of groups trying to do what Ranger’s doing but as long as they keep doing what they’re doing with “Where Evil Dwells” I think they’ll secure a fan base that’ll keep ’em going for many years.
Ranger makes the grade. Their mastery of this genre is apparent, they kill it on this record. It’s good, they’re good. The songs are tight lyrically and musically. “Where Evil Dwells” feels natural and not forced and that tells me this band plays with heart, that they’re the real deal.
I don’t see myself getting tired of good thrash or speed metal which is another way of saying buy this record, you’ll thank me for it later.
The Existential Codex
Eat Lead & Die Music
Release: 27 February 2015
Alright boys, you got me. The song titles are quasi scientific, it’s cool sounding, digging this in a very techie type way.
Monsterworks are as massive sounding as their name implies with the emphasis on riff heaviness. The harmonies, the melodies, the ferocity of the music is spot on. I’ve been listening to this record the last few days and it hasn’t lost it’s punch.
The sound is new yet it’s old, it’s progressive in a heavy sense and not afraid to get out in front of itself and showcase something new and exciting. Monsterworks is a band to watch, an exciting band to WATCH and “The Existential Codex” is a record you need to listen to.
Satan Rebellion Metal
Dark Descent Records
Release: 10 March 2015
Death to god and all ye who worship him! That’s “Satan Rebellion Metal” in a nutshell but much bolder and louder. The record is a sick mixture of aggression and blasphemy tied together sinfully in a wall of sound, ten stories tall. Invincible Force takes me back to the early days of death metal ala Massacre, Morbid Angel and Deicide.
If Invincible Force is the future of death metal I like what the future is shaping up to be. There’s not a single thing wrong with this record. It hits on every mark and goes a bit further. Both the record and band never relent and did I mention heavy as fuck? Why? ’cause they are. Buy “Satan Rebellion Metal.”
To the Other
Releases: 7 April 2015
Heavier than six, wet bucket loads of dirt on a casket getting lowered into a grave. Heavy, heavy, grinding shit. Listening to this record is like getting hit in the head with a hammer, repeatedly, tripping on acid.
I dig the depths they’re mining on “To the Other” in terms of how low and slow they can go. Saturnalia Temple has effectively explored the depths of heaviness with “To The Other” earning many sludgeworthy kudos. Live, this band has to be amazing; kind of like what an avalanche sounds and feels like.
Saturnalia Temple ranks as one of the heaviest bands alongside Electric Wizard I’ve heard in a long time. Check ’em out and get lost in the fog of fuzzzzzz…..
The Midnight Ghost Train
Cold Was The Ground
27 February 2015
Oh thank the lord, a sack load of heavy, hopefully THC infused, bass heavy, bottom ended, demolition derby, inspired music. The Midnight Ghost Train ain’t afraid to put a foot in yr ass and crank it up on their new record “Cold Was The Ground.”
It’s a little bit O’ Clutch coupled with a backwoods attitude on how rock oughta be — lots of distortion behind some good old, boogie down, muthafuckin’ rock.
I like the anger in the vocals, the musical vibe, everything on this disc gels right. “Cold Was The Ground” is a deserved ass whuppin on what rock N roll has turned into ala the Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour bullshit we’re tortured with today.
Buy this record and be thankful music is still being made like this — grungy, sludgy, hard rock N’ metal. “Cold Was The Ground” is the perfect soundtrack to taking a few cracks of the whip on yr back. Consider both that and this record an attention getter.
Illusions in Infinite Void
Cruz Del Sur Music
Release: 10 March 2015
Thrash of a different beast here. Not necessarily retro but a band trying to capture a past sound in the present, no gimmicks, no nostalgia, reminding me of the old Metal Blade Records days when bands like Intruder, Helstar and Fates Waring filled their roster.
“Illusions in Infinite Void” is super tight, precision speed metal at it’s best. You can rank these guys against the best bands of their genre past and present and Sacral Rage would still be a force to reckon with. And the best part? You’d never know they’re from 2015.
Not only is this good music, Sacral Rage is a reminder that metal continues to expand and explore music within itself on it’s own terms, something other genres like pop and country won’t do because of it’s rigid allegiance to a dead music industry and the starving corporate dollar.
“Illusions in Infinite Void” is a must buy. There’s an authenticity and genuineness that I haven’t heard with other bands of it’s ilk in a long time. This one is the real deal. Don’t be a poser. Buy or die.
Raise A Little Hell
Release: 6 March 2015
Good old fashioned rock N roll ala The Quireboys and Four Horseman. I like what’s being presented here, it’s natural sounding, not forced to fit in a mold, not trying to be something they aren’t and proud of who they are.
Fans of 80s rock, good 80’s rock, will dig “Raise A Little Hell.” There’s a healthy dose of soul and feeling with The Answer. This is a band playing music they were meant to play and having a good time doing it which is hard to say for a lot of the actual 80’s bands that muddle their way through half assed tours nowadays.
“Raise A Little Hell” isn’t afraid to wave the flag of rock N roll in a day and age when 80’s rock is more frequently than not, frowned upon. The Answer could easily tour with the likes of Ratt, Motley Crue and Whitesnake and you’d never know they weren’t outta ’85. Give this record a chance and have a good time with it. Buy.
Art of Propaganda
Release: 30 March 2015
Oh so much heavy goodness with “Desolation Road!” Blackn’d, deathly doom metal at it’s most downer best.
The theme of this record as I interpreted it, is one of loss and the evacuation of all hope and positivity, bring the darkness and bleak existence most of us endure to the forefront ’till we’re laid to rest in a pinewood box or baked in some substandard crematory.
“Desolation Road” is eight tracks of tortured existence put to music. Musically, lyrically, the band and record are right on. Doom on!
Art of Propaganda / Catatonic State
Release: 23 March 2015
Gloson is a fucking cement wall falling on top of you with their approach to deathly, doom inspired metal — plodding, methodical and devastating. No lives are spared and all souls get crushed listening to this monster.
“Yearwalker” is a juggernaut of a disc. Musically the band takes it time not relying on blast beasts or Cannibal Corpse inspired growls; just hellish, heavy, muddy-tempo’d songs that hit every last emotion inside you. The intent, musically, is to slowly and carefully pull you apart, limb from limb, with every track, force you to think, emote and feel. Mission accomplished and well I might add.
Think Bolt Thrower without the progressive tempos and that’s close to Gloson. Buy this immediately!
Restricted Release/Plastic Head Music
24 March 2015
King Hitter takes their name from a Stevie Wright song, “King Hitter,” 1975. The song rocks, it stinks of Bon Scott era AC/DC, in other words, it’s a black eyed bruiser in it’s own right. And this band, King Hitter, you really want me to be honest with you?
It’s not good. I thought it sounded like watered down COC meets even more watered down Machine Head. I didn’t get that 70s hard rock groove they were trying to lay down, I couldn’t connect with it.
What a bummer considering not just the COC thing but the fact that vocalist Karl Agell (ex-Corrosion Of Conformity) and guitarist Scott Little did such great work in their former band Lead Foot. For the record, that band had vibe, presence and force. King Hitter doesn’t. Won’t apologize for writing the review, just unhappy I had to do it.
Eradicating Terrestrial Species
Release: 21 April 2015
Score 8 / 10
“Eradicating Terrestrial Species” is nine tracks of straight up wrecking ball death metal with a twist — the album is sci-fi meets religion minus the faith aspect. Ya got my attention, this is something I haven’t encountered before. The record is an interesting concept well explored by Incinerate.
Sonically the band kinda falls into the realm of Abominable Putridity / Defeated Sanity / Cerebral Bore musically with the deep guttural vocals, blast beats, etc. but Incinerate is much more than that; this record proves it.
With this record the band has found their niche and lyrically they’re doing something different than other bands which is cool ’cause that’ll set them apart from their peers in this genre. I definitely dug this record. Check it out, buy it.
Death Earth Politics
Men Become Gods
Self-Released 14 March 2015
Score 8 / 10
“Men Become Gods” is four tracks of good, solid thrash. For a self released record the production value is top notch which makes me appreciate their sound and brand of music even more.
For some reason they reminded me of Grip, Inc. and Intruder ala the “Escape From Pain” EP which is cool since the Metal Blade genre of thrash is among the best that’s ever been put to record.
Dead Earth Politics is a cool band to check out and keep an eye on. I think they’re ready to be signed, it’ll be interesting to see which label picks them up.
Peste Negra, Muerte Negra
Gates of Hell Records
Release: 5 May 2015
Score 8 / 10
Gut wrenching. Disgusting. Bile inducing. Three complimentary terms to describe Peruvian based Anal Vomit’s “Peste Negra, Muerte Negra.” First of all, how do you go wrong with a band who named themselves “Anal Vomit?” You don’t.
“Peste Negra, Muerte Negra” is primal, no frills death metal with an old school nod to bands such as Possessed, Sarcafogo, Holocausto, etc. It’s good filthy shit.
I like their sound and attitude. AV are the dudes wearing chains and spikes diving into the pit at a Morbid Angel show and this record makes them a band to watch in the future for sure.
There’s a difference between imitating old school and embracing that sound. Anal Vomit is the real deal. And did I mention how cool their album art is? Incredible and offensive to say the least. Hell yeah!
Release: 30 March 2015
Score 9 / 10
Just a two track release here but damn is it good! Blackened doom metal with dare I say a slight Blue Cheer influence, especially with the drumming? I think that’s fair to say.
Predatory Light kills it with both tracks on “MMXIV EP” cranking the heaviness factor past 11 and then some. The band does a great job at incorporating atmosphere and building a sense of impending doom as with “Spiritual Flesh,” track two. Nice fuckin’ touch!
For a two track EP Predatory Light showcases their sound superbly. They nail a sludge vibe, change it up and touch on black metal, slow it down and go the doom route. Great versatility here. Cannot wait to hear a full length record from this band. Get this release ASAP. Fucking great!
Aelter IV: Love Eternal
Release: 20 April 2015
Score 7 / 10
I don’t think it’d be a reach calling this a concept record but it is somewhat of an acquired taste. It’s five tracks including the intro — Death Eternal, Love Eternal, Life Eternal, Hope Eternal.
It’s not black or death metal, rather dark, atmospheric music with an under current of sadness and rage running through all four songs. The best way to describe “Aelter IV: Love Eternal” is, it’s the kind of music I’d expect to be the soundtrack to a David Lynch movie, specifically “Twin Peaks” and “Mullholand Drive.” If this intrigues you then you’re a good fit for “Aelter IV: Love Eternal.” If not, check it out anyway. It’s new, it’s different and deserves some attention.
Volume IV – Hammered Again
Release: 27 March 2015
Score 8 / 10
I was expecting sludge but this is pure biker rock man, just pure 70’s inspired hard rock, the kinda band you’d see at a speedway jam wedged between Nazareth and Foghat waiting for Blue Oyster Cult to close out the gig before the demolition derby starts at dusk.
10 tracks, no ballads, just leather jacket, tattoo inspired music that reminds me of Nashville Pussy, Motorhead even Warrior Soul ala “The Wasteland” with just a dash of good old punk rock injected into it.
Best song on the record is “Fuel Injected” a rock N roll blueprint if ever there was one. If you haven’t heard Mammoth Mammoth before then “Volume IV — Hammered Again” is a great intro to the band. You’ll be pleased, Now buy.
Heavy Psych Sounds
Score 10 / 10 black lights, black light posters, bell bottom jeans and 3 foot bongs
Black Rainbows’ “Hawkdope” is a fine addition to the growing number of bands comprising The New Wave of Psychedelic Rock. Stoner Rock you say? Sludge Rock possibly? Not even close. This is heavier, yeah I said it — HEAVIER. Black Rainbows are part of The New Wave of Psychedelic Rock and fucking proud of it. And trust me, they have the blown amps and the half deaf fans to prove it.
Never heard of The New Wave of Psychedelic Rock? Too bad. You’ve been missing out on the likes of Dead Meadow, Wooden Shjips, Thee Oh Sees, Black Angels, Fuzz and Ty Segall and that’s naming dropping just a few and now Black Rainbows have joined their ranks. Groovy!
“Hawkdope” sonically reminds me of Mudhoney’s fuzzed out guitar heaviness coupled with Ty Segall’s vocals but in the end it’s all Black Rainbows and oh how it works ever so nicely.
I just mentioned Mudhoney’s guitar sound. If you can believe it, Black Rainbow’s guitar tone is fuzzier, murkier and much, much heavier sounding. It’s like a mountain of fuzz face inspired goodness dropping on you at just the right time. BUY, BUY, BUY.
The Slow Death
Release: 16 March 2015
Score 8 / 10
Who died? No seriously — who died? “Ark” is some monstrously depressing, funeral dirge music that features beautiful, almost angelic female vocals accompanied by who I can only guess is the Angel of Death singing. On second thought, even the grim reaper weeps at the sound of “The Slow Death.”
Now I’m sure it sounds like I’m making fun of this band or I don’t like “Ark” but so not true. I like the band and this record, it just redefines the genre of funeral doom for me in a good way, albeit suicidally depressing, but still…
“Ark” is six tracks of heavy, somber grooves; some with keyboards & synth, which under normal circumstances might detract from the metal side of the music but here serves to enhance and build mood, especially with “The Chosen Ones,” track one. Holy shit.
I like bands that push music and art and creativity to the limit and pull it off successfully like Slow Death does with “Ark.” Do not buy this record if you’re suicidal or off your meds. Keep a broken razor nearby just in case…